6 Great Toys for Children with Autism

Sports toys can promote important social skills
Sports toys can promote important social skills

Parents often think of toys as a vehicle for pure fun and play—and for typically-developing kids, they often are. But for autistic kids, toys can serve another purpose—as a teaching tool. “It sounds counterintuitive, but we really need to teach these kids how to play,” says Jan Blacher, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and director of the SEARCH family autism research center at University of California-Riverside. “For children with autism, play does not come naturally because they don’t have built-in knowledge about what to do with toys and how to interact with other kids.”

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