In this post we are going to provide you a list of items and toys that could prove out to be very useful in the mental and sensory development of children, these items can be highly helpful for kids with developmental disorders like Autism.
As we have discussed in our previous post “signs of autism in children“, kids who are affected by ASD do repetitive things like following the spin of fan blades, flapping of hands, making various noises etc. This may pertain to improper sensory development.
Not only the kids with disorders but also others may have over or underdeveloped senses. Hence, we use a sensory integration method which involves three main factors viz. development of tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive senses.
Now we will discuss each of these factors individually.
1 – Tactile Senses
This system is the one that enables us to sense anything that involves the perception of touch. The nerves under our skin sense the pressure, temperature, etc and then sends that information to our brain.
In some kids, this perception becomes so weak that they often fail to judge any touch related feeling, on the other hand, some kids become very sensitive that they get irritated and annoyed when their body comes in contact with something. In some severe cases of autism, it can be seen that the kid indulges in self-destructive behavior by harming themselves since they do not feel pain like other kids do.
Inflammable pea pod is very useful for kids who are highly sensitive to touch. (You can buy our suggested pea pod from Amazon using this link)
For this, we also recommend you to read our post on “Sensory toys for kids with autism“.
2 – Vestibular Senses
The structure of our ear which is called the semicircular canals or the “inner ear” is highly efficient in detecting any sound related movements. Although we depend on visuals to move our head, what we don’t know is that we unknowingly use this particular sense for our head movements.
Kids who are affected by ASD can often be seen moving their heads in random directions and they also have a difficulty in judging the direction of sounds, this is due to their weak vestibular senses.
In some cases, this sense could also be hyperactive which makes a child confused as well as fearful of any ordinary movement.
Due to the dysfunction in this system a kid can become afraid of walking on uneven surfaces which also means that they find it difficult to walk down the stairs.
You can order a good quality bouncer and climber from Amazon to assist a kid with vestibular orientation.
3 – Proprioceptive Senses
This sense is a subconscious mechanism which uses body muscles, joints and tendons to make a person aware of his position. We are always unconsciously using this particular sense in our various day to day activities.
This is a very important sense using which we judge the movement of our body in various situations like while sitting on a chair or stepping out of a car and various such activities. We need this sense for a myriad of things especially when it comes to making use of utilities like pencil, knife, spoon etc.
Some kids with Autism have a problem with this particular system so it becomes difficult for them to move in appropriate ways which may lead to a great delay in the development of their locomotive skills.
Here’s a video that explains the proprioceptive system:-
Toys That Supports Cerebral Growth & Sensory Development in Kids
1 – Spinning Ride On Toys
Due to the high rotatory movements of these toys, they help a kid to develop strong motion related sensory skills. Ride on spinning toys lets the brain to strengthen its motion sensing capabilities.
15-20 minutes of practice daily can be highly useful for the improvement of vestibular system as well as the mind-body coordination in kids.
You can buy these type of toys easily from any online store, for your convenience here’s a selected one from Amazon “Ride On Big Wheel”
2 – Trampoline
Which kid does not like to jump on a trampoline, right? But what you might not have known until now is that it can help them develop certain skills.
Trampoline is not only known for its fun-filled quality but it is also a great alternative to any other game that helps you to deal with the amazing activeness and tremendous energy of children which is essential to be utilized for their good health.
Kids with ASD sometimes are very highly active and it becomes very difficult to make them stay focused on any particular task. Hence, making use of a trampoline helps us to engage them in this particular task for a long duration.
Apart from this, the trampoline can also help a kid to develop and strengthen their muscles and joints, it is a great catalyst for the building up of motor skills.
There is also a psychological factor associated with this activity, it is a great stress reliever for anxious kids. So kids with any kind of developmental disorder who often have to face various troublesome emotions can channelize their energy using this activity and feel more relaxed.
Here’s an indoor trampoline recommendation – Langxun 5 Feet Trampoline with Enclosure Net
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