If you have a son or daughter who has been diagnosed with autism, there are certain gifts that you can give that are especially appropriate for autistic children. Your child may also exhibit stimming behaviors, which involve repetitive movements that are sometimes used as a coping mechanism for physical or emotional pain. Fortunately, there are certain toys, educational materials and other items that have been designed to help autistic children manage their stimming behaviors more effectively. Here are five great stimming gifts that can help your autistic child.
The Koosh Ball is a type of ball that’s made up of what appear to be rubber bands that have been cut and joined together at a center to create the ball. These balls are soothing to the touch and can be used for fidgeting if your child frequently expresses hand stimming behaviors. The soft feeling of these balls can keep children safe while playing with them. Some Koosh Balls also feature multiple colors, which can provide more positive visual stimulation for your little one. This toy also won’t make loud sounds when it’s being played with, which can be especially good for your ears and keep your child from experiencing auditory overstimulation.
A liquid timer can provide a positive visual effect and help your son or daughter feel calmer. This gift can also help your child focus better. The liquid timer consists of a small hourglass-shaped tank that’s filled with water. Small soft circles inside the tank float down from the top to the bottom. These circles often feature multiple colors for an even more appealing visual effect. Encouraging your child to use this tool can be especially good during times when hyperactivity or emotional frustration is being displayed. Your child will likely show fewer stimming actions when sitting in front of a liquid timer, and this can give your child’s body and mind some time to rest.
Sensory bracelets are available for boys and girls, and simply wearing one can give your child the positive stimulation that’s needed to curb stimming behaviors and elicit greater calmness. Many of these bracelets have bumpy textures to help autistic children with their tactile sensory needs. Bracelets come in red, green, blue and other fun colors and are designed to look stylish while wearing them. Your son or daughter can also fidget with the bracelet safely if stimming feels like a necessary action at a given moment. Another perk of this bracelet is that it’s easy to clean so that your child won’t be exposed to as much dirt or germ buildups from it being dirty all the time.
Autism and trains have a surprising commonality. Some children with autism become interested in trains and enjoy watching them in motion. The movement patterns of trains are often smooth and predictable, which can have a good visual effect on autistic children. Videos about trains can be purchased online and given to your child to watch. Your son or daughter may also enjoy looking at railroad maps that show the routes of rail lines across the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world. Taking your child on a train ride across town or to another city can have an additional positive effect.
Spinning toys can be particularly good for visual senses. Spinning these toys can also help your child develop better motor skills, which are often affected by autism. Toys that include different sizes of spinning tops that come in different colors can keep your child entertained. A classic spinning top is another great option for reducing some stimming behaviors, and some of these tops feature swirling patterns that have an intriguing visual effect when spun. According to WebMD, physically spinning can help reduce hyperactive stimming motions in some autistic children, and you can get a spinning seat that rotates at a safe rate and can prevent your little one from getting into accidents and sustaining injuries.
Stimming is common among many autistic children, and you can encourage your son or daughter to rely less on these actions and develop better habits by giving any of these gifts. No matter what specific types of stimming behaviors that your child may have, the right gifts can have a positive impact.