Sensory Toys for Autism and ADHD : A Guide to Helping Your Child Succeed
Blog - July 7, 2022

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If you have a child who has been diagnosed with Autism or ADHD, you know that finding the right tools to help them succeed can be a challenge. Sensory toys can be a great way to help your child focus and learn. In this guide, we will discuss the benefits of sensory toys and provide a list of some of the best options available.

autism tools

Recently both of my boys were diagnosed with ADHD

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurological disorder that can cause difficulties with focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. According to the CDC, about six percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Children with ADHD often have trouble paying attention or may be easily distracted. They may also have difficulty sitting still or may fidget and squirm a lot.

Symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD include :

  • Inability to focus or pay attention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Fidgeting or squirming

Check out the full Sypmtom Checklist

Treating ADHD

Treating ADHD in children is usually through medication and behavioral therapy.

What is Autism?

Autism is a neurological disorder that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism affects about one in 59 children in the United States.

Fine and gross motor skills might be difficult for autistic children, according to studies.

According to another study, children with autism are six months behind in gross motor skills and a year behind in fine motor skills compared to their peers.

5 Disorders on the Autism Spectrum

There are five major types of autism which include Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative disorder, Kanner’s syndrome, and Pervasive developmental disorder. 

  1. Asperger’s syndrome is marked by social awkwardness and difficulty with social cues.
  2. Rett syndrome is a disorder that is almost exclusively diagnosed in girls and is characterized by problems with movement, communication, and mental ability.
  3. Childhood disintegrative disorder is a rare form of autism that is characterized by a regression in skills after reaching early developmental milestones.
  4. Kanner’s syndrome is the most common form of autism and is characterized by problems with social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
  5. The pervasive developmental disorder is a general term used to describe autism spectrum disorders that cause delays in development.

Symptoms of Autism

Children with autism often have difficulty with social interaction and may be uninterested in talking or making eye contact with others. They may also have repetitive behaviors, such as rocking back and forth or flapping their hands.

Kids with Autism sometimes experience sensory overload from sensory processing disorder which can occur with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Treating Autism

Occupational Therapy

Autistic children may require special needs such as assistance from an occupational therapist to help with communication and social skills.

Sensory Integration

Sensory integration is a therapy that helps people with sensory processing disorders (SPD) learn to process and respond to sensory information.

Sensory toys

Sensory toys are designed to stimulate the senses and provide a sensory-rich environment for autistic kids. They can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD focus and cope with sensory overload. Sensory toys can be used in a variety of ways and are often used in sensory integration therapy.

Benefits of Sensory Toys

Sensory toys can provide many benefits for children with autism or ADHDThey can help your child to focus and pay attention.

Additionally, they can help to improve fine motor skills and promote calmness and relaxation.

Sensory toys can also provide a way for your child to express their feelings and emotions and keep their hands out of their mouth.

There are different types of Toys like Autism Toys and Sensory Products for children of all ages with different needs.

Best Sensory Toys and Products for Autism and ADHD

Sensory Room

A sensory room is a special room designed to provide a sensory-rich environment for autistic children. Sensory rooms typically have a variety of sensory toys and materials, such as:

Bubble Machines

Bubble machines are a type of sensory toy that can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD focus and relax. Bubble machines create a stream of bubbles that can be visually stimulating and calming for some children.

Fidget Toys

Fidget toys are small objects that can be held in the hand and manipulated. Fidget toys are often used to help kids

Fiber Optic Lights

Fiber optic lights are a type of sensory toy that can be used to create a calming environment for autistic kids. Fiber optic lights are often used in sensory rooms and sensory integration therapy.

Weighted blankets

Weighted blankets are a type of sensory toy that is often used to help kids with autism or ADHD relax and sleep. Weighted blankets are typically made of a weighted material, such as:

Cotton Weighted Blanket

Weighted blanket made of cotton.

Cooling Weighted Blanket

Weighted blanket that has a cooling effect.

Sherpa Weighted Blanket

Sherpa Weighted blanket.

Weighted blankets are a great way to provide deep pressure input. This type of sensory input can help calm and focus the child while they are sleeping or resting.

Tactile walls

Tactile walls are a type of sensory toy that can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD focus and cope with sensory overload. Tactile walls are often used in sensory rooms and sensory integration therapy.

Vibrating pillows

Vibrating pillows are a type of sensory toy that can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD relax.

Sensory Swings

Sensory swings are a type of sensory toy that can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD focus and cope with sensory overload. Sensory swings are often used in sensory rooms and sensory integration therapy.

Sensory tables

Sensory tables are a type of sensory toy that can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD focus and cope with sensory overload. Sensory tables are often used in sensory rooms and sensory integration therapy.

sensory table with kids
Sensory table

Sensory tables are a great way to provide a variety of sensory experiences. These tables can be filled with different materials such as sand, water, or even rice. Kids can enjoy different textures and feel relief from sensory sensitivities.

Constructive Playthings Sand and Water Table with Dry-Erase Top

24″H Large Sensory Table & Lid

Water tables

Water tables are a type of sensory toy that can be used to help kids with autism or ADHD focus and cope with sensory overload. Water tables are often used in sensory rooms and sensory integration therapy.

Visual aids

Visual aids are any type of object that can help your child to see what is happening around them. Visual aids can be used to help your child to understand and follow instructions. Additionally, visual aids can help your child to stay focused and distracted from sensory overload.

There are many different types of visual aids, such as:

Pictures

Pictures can be used to help your child to understand what is happening around them.

Videos

Videos can be used to help your child to understand what is happening around them.

Flashcards

Flashcards can be used to help your child to understand and remember information.

Puzzles

Puzzles can be used to help your child to understand and remember information. Additionally, puzzles can help to improve fine motor skills.

Auditory aids

Auditory aids are any type of object that can help your child to hear what is happening around them. Auditory aids can be used to help your child to understand and follow instructions. Additionally, auditory aids can help your child to stay focused and distracted from sensory overload.

There are many different types of auditory aids, such as:

Earbuds

Earbuds can be used to help your child to hear what is happening around them.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

noise-canceling headphones can be a great way to help your child focus while also blocking out any distracting noises.

White Noise Machines

White noise machines are designed to help your child to relax and fall asleep. White noise is a type of sound that can help to mask other sounds. This can be helpful for children who are sensitive to sound or who have difficulty falling asleep. White noise machines can also help to soothe and calm your child.

Balls

Balls are a great option for children who need to move around frequently. They can be used to play catch, bounce, or even just squeeze.

Puffer Balls

These balls are soft and can be squished. They are a great option for children who need to fidget frequently.

Bouncing Balls

These balls can be bounced or thrown. They are a great way to help your child to release energy.

Stress Balls

These balls are designed to help relieve stress and tension. They can be squeezed or rolled.

Lacing Beads

Lacing beads are a great way to help your child to improve fine motor skills. Lacing beads can also be used to make jewelry or other crafts.

Sensory Stretch and Squeeze Balls

These balls can be squeezed, stretched, or even bounced. They are a great way to help your child to release energy.

Sensory Water Beads

These beads are soft and squishy. They can be used to play in the water or on sensory tables.

sensory togs

Tactile objects

Tactile objects are any type of object that can be felt. They can be used to help your child explore their senses. Additionally, they can help your child to calm down and relax.

There are many different types of tactile objects, such as:

Stuffed animals

Weighted Stuffed Animal sensory toy
Weighted Stuffed Animal

Stuffed animals can provide a sense of comfort and security for children who may feel overwhelmed or anxious. They can also be used as a tool for learning, such as matching animals to their names or colors.

Fidget spinners

Fidget spinners became all the rage a couple of years ago. My son even made his own out of LEGO.

Bubble tubes

Everyone loves bubble tubes – they make great gifts for Birthday Parties too!

Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand is a great sensory activity and less messy than sand!

Fidget cubes

Fidget cubes are a great stress reliever.

Chewing Toys and Tools for Autism and ADHD

pencil toppers

Chewing toys are a good option for children who need to orally fixate. These toys can provide a way to calm and focus the child while also giving them something to chew on. You can also learn how to pick the right chew.

Chewelry

ARK's Diamond Chewable Jewel Necklace and sensory toys
ARK’s Diamond Chewable Jewel Necklace

Chewelry is a great way to help your child to oral fixate without having to worry about them chewing on their clothes or hair.

Pencil Topper Chews

Pencil topper chews prevent chewing erasers on the top of pencils.

Handheld Chews

Handheld chews are chews that can be held by the hands.

Fidget Computer Mouse for Autism and ADHD

This is a fidget gadget + computer mouse that helps sensory seekers. It helps them focus while working in front of a computer. The first ever mouse to bring together fun & functionality in one cool wireless mouse!

blue Fidget Mouse
Fidget Mouse

Fidget Strips

Fidget Strip on phone
Fidget Strip

Fidget strips are discreet tactile strips that are great for anxiety or stress. You can stick them anywhere, on your phone or with pencils.

Bookmarks for Autism and ADHD

3 Pack

Sensory Fidget Toys

Fidgets are small toys or objects that can be used to help keep the hands busy. They can provide a way to calm and focus the child while also giving them something to do with their hands.

Anxiety Reliever Tangle and sensory toy
Anxiety Reliever Tangle

Blocks

Blocks are another great option for children who need to move around frequently. They can be used to build towers, houses, or other structures.

Puzzles

Puzzles are a great sensory toy that can children with autism or ADHD focus and learn. They can be used to teach shapes, colors, numbers, or even problem solving skills.

Silicone Jigsaw Puzzles and sensory toys
Silicone Jigsaw Puzzles

Workbooks for ADHD

60 Fun Activities to Help Children Self-Regulate, Focus, and Succeed

100 Easy Activities to Train Focus and Concentration in Kids with A

The ADHD Workbook for Kids: Helping Children Gain Self-Confidence, Social Skills, and Self-ControlDHD.

The use of sensory toys has become increasingly popular through the last couple of years. No matter what type of sensory toy you choose, it is important to ensure that it is safe for your child.

Always supervise your child while they are using any type of sensory toy and be sure to regularly check the condition of the toy. With the right tools, your child can succeed despite their challenges.

Sensory toys can be a great way to help your child focus and learn. In this guide, we have discussed the benefits of sensory toys and provided a list of some of the best options available. Try out a few different types of sensory toys with your child and see which ones work best for them.

Etsy sellers also make great sensory toys for kids of all ages.

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