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Buying Toys for Children with Autism or Disabilities

  • Published: 2009-03-23 (Revised/Updated 2014-03-14) : Author: JoAnn Collins
  • Synopsis: Things to consider when buying toys for your child with a disability or autism.

Main Document

"When my daughter was younger she loved any toy that talked, and she would talk back to the toy, which I believe encouraged her speech"

The National Lekotek Center a non profit organization dedicated to making play and learning accessible for children with disabilities has debuted the AblePlay Toy rating system and Website.

Do you have a child with autism or a physical disability? Do you have difficulty buying toys for them? Would you like to find toys that can help them learn? This article will give you some things to consider when buying toys for your child with a disability or autism.

The National Lekotek Center a non profit organization dedicated to making play and learning accessible for children with disabilities has debuted the AblePlay Toy rating system and Website. This Website will give lots of information on toys for children with different types of disabilities, for parents and therapists.

Things that parents should keep in mind when choosing toys are:

1. Does the toy have multi-sensory appeal

Does it have lights, sounds, music, or movement? Many children with disabilities respond to music and things that they can feel that have a lot of texture!

2. Is it easy for a child to use and activate?

Will the toy be challenging to the child but not cause frustration

3. Does the toy give the child opportunities for success?

4. Is the toy safe for all children and is it durable?

Can it be washed in a machine or hand washed? Toys that break easily and are not durable may not be appropriate for children with autism or other disabilities.

5. Can the child use the toy to express themselves and be creative

6. Does the toy have an adapted switch for children with physical disabilities

7. Will the toy engage the child and allow them to be an active participant?

Toys can help children with disabilities learn and also have fun! Picking the right toys will be very important for your child. When my daughter was younger she loved any toy that talked, and she would talk back to the toy, which I believe encouraged her speech! I loved any toy that could be either machine or hand washed and was durable. For more information on Lekotek go to www.ableplay.org

Reference: JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families navigate the special education system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game" The book has a lot of resources and information to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled "The Special Education Spotlight" send an E mail to: JoAnn@disabilitydeception.com For more information on the book, testimonials about the book, and a link to more articles go to: www.disabilitydeception.com

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