Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which affects the way in which a person views the world. It can be very different to how you and I view it. Autistic children and adults can have difficulty in social communication, forming relationships, and social imagination. Autistic people can often find it difficult to use verbal and non verbal communication. Depending on the position on the spectrum they may speak, have difficulty speaking or not speak at all. They may have difficulty understanding and managing their own feelings and those of others. Whilst they may have issues with social imagination, autistic people are generally very artistic and creative. All those with Autism will share difficulties, but in different ways and to different levels of severity.
Parents of children with autism on any scale, will find a wealth of resource available in the internet, including support groups, allowing the sharing of ideas to help their children to develop and learn.
People with autism may also experience extreme sensitivity to sounds, touch, smells, light or colours. For children with any degree of sensory toys for autism can help them to de-stress, relationship-build, communicate better, and have calming effects as well as being educational. Creating a sensory room can provide a whole whole of benefits for the child and parents or carers.
Sensory toys and resources include those which help social development, for example fun games which require turn-taking. Toys include tactile toys such as fidgets and chewies. Light up toys are loved by all children but autistic children tend to get a lot of benefit from them. There are several projector toys available which light up the wall or ceiling with a wonderful array of colours and shapes. For calming and relaxing toys and resources, massager brushes are an enjoyable way for the parent and child to have some bonding time and there are lots of calming music CD’s on the market.
For those looking to create a sensory room, it is advisable and economical to invest in a sensory kit to begin with. Sensory kits can include a whole range of resources targeting a specific sense, or a mixture of best sellers to get the room started. Every sensory room should have a den! Whilst a den is lots and lots of fun, for all children, it is fun to use UV lights, and torches, to create striking and exciting visual effects.
Finally embrace the creativity that most autistic people have. If they enjoy being creative