Popular Toys for Teenagers with Autism
Autism is surely a limiting disorder that makes your kid unable to have effective communication with others. It also inhibits social interactions such that your kid is not able to make friends easily, are not able to date or form meaningful relationships with others.
Autistic people suffer from sensory processing disorder where they get overstimulated by a certain sensation. Say for example that they walk into a hall full of people and they are sure to feel overwhelmed by the noise, smell and even lights. Their sense of touch is also affected. If an autistic person is touched lightly, they feel bad since they want deep pressure.
In this post, we ask Eshter Wells who is an expert on autism as well as a special needs teacher to tell us about the needs of autistic people especially when they hit adolescence years.
Noise cancelling headphones
Kids with autism are surely over-stimulated by noises and sounds that normal teenagers would not be put off by. They will for example feel overwhelmed when they walk into a dance hall, disco or party that has blaring music. Taking dinner in the school dinner hall is also something big for them since they will be overstimulated by the noises, talks, jeers and cheers of the other students as they animatedly talk. Therefore, to beat this auditory stimulations, one can think of getting noise cancelling headphones that have been found to be truly effective in controlling or even cancelling the sounds.
Other than headphones that are rather too conspicuous, you could also get some earbuds for your kids. They are also good in how they work and you are assured that they will be great in reducing the noise so that the unwanted sounds are muffled and the kid is only able to hear conversations that they want to listen to. These gadgets can be used in:
- School dining hall
- Grocery store
- Shopping store
Caution however need to be taken especially for kids who want to wear the gadgets when they are walking on the road since they could cancel out car horns or any other sounds that might be warning the kid to act promptly and this could end up in avoidable accidents.
Weighted compression vests
Science has proven that time and again compression vests work awesomely to reduce anxiety in both autistic as well as Parkinson’s patients. How this works is that the person wearing the vest feels as though they are getting a deep hug. This has the effect of making them feel calm and rested.
You can either buy the compression vest or make your own using beads or any other heavy material eg sand that can be sewn into the fabric to make it weighted. The science has also been used to make weighted blankets and weighted lap pads which have the same effect of reducing anxiety as well as curing people from insomnia.
Sensory Boards for Tactile Needs
Kids on the spectrum have sensory needs that can best be addressed with sensory boards that come with latches, all types of locks, colorful numbers as well as punch things such as calculators. You could also have chains, spin wheels, cogs and gears. All these address the tactile needs of the child. Other than buying, one could also make their diy sensory board as explained here.
Robotic pets for companionship
As we have mentioned before, kids with autism suffer from loneliness. This is partly because they are treated as social weirdoes by the other kids in the school and partly because they lack social skills for example, they have mind blindness that makes them lack empathy for others. Because of their preoccupation on vague things, other kids in the school will not want to be associated with them and will therefore avoid them like a plague.
To beat this loneliness, parents can invest in robotic pets that are great companions. The robotic pets are also snugly and good to hold and embrace making you feel like you have that friend. Robotic pets have been used by people with dementia or just aged and socially isolated with great results.