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Updated by Autism Parenting Magazine on May 29, 2018
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Sensory Play Ideas and Summer Activities For Kids With Autism

Does your child with autism become overstimulated or bored easily? With the school year coming to an end, are you looking for sensory play ideas for your child? This guide will provide a variety of ideas for fun sensory play activities for children with autism.

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Sensory Play Ideas and Summer Activities For Kids With Autism

Does your child with autism become overstimulated or bored easily? With the school year coming to an end, are you looking for sensory play ideas for your child? This guide will provide a variety of ideas for fun sensory activities for children with autism.

Best Sensory Toys for Kids with Sensory Processing Issues and Autism

Does your child with autism have issues with sensory input? Take a look at some of the top sensory toys for autism recommended by many occupational therapists to include fidget spinners, hand toys, hand toys, chew toys, cubes, and sensory rings for children with autism.

This Exciting New App Helps Special Needs Kids Speak Through Play - Autism Parenting Magazine

Product: Speech Blubs is a video- and voice-based app constructed with the purpose to boost children’s imitation and speaking abilities through play.

Best Sensory Strategies for Handling Tactile Defensiveness - Autism Parenting Magazine

Touch is the first sensation that starts evolving in the womb at five weeks. The early development of the touch (tactile) system provides an essential foundation for emerging social and communicative behaviors (Cascio, 2010).

Simple Sensory Boxes You Can Make to Teach Your Autistic Child Skills - Autism Parenting Magazine

My brother and I have a 15 year difference in age, and I remember the days of helping my mother change diapers and prepare bottles. He had an inquisitive mind, and even as a toddler, he was determined to learn everything. I remember at one point he wanted to learn the names of all the state capitals. This was before the Internet really took off, so we pulled out our trusty encyclopedias and looked up information on whatever topic interested him for that week.

Easy Ways to Create A Sensory Space for Kids with Autism - Autism Parenting Magazine

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have issues effectively processing sensory information and may perceive sensation differently. For example, a child may perceive touch sensation as painful or immediately become startled when touched.  Some children are extremely sensitive to noises such as the sound of a toilet flushing.  A child’s sensory needs and way of processing sensory information from their surrounding environment is completely different for each child. Helping a child with sensory- related issues always needs to be done with an individualized approach because each child is unique and experiences something different. However, there are some general strategies and activities that are calming and helpful. For example, deep pressure (the feeling of a hug or being compressed/ held tightly) can be very calming and organizing. It’s the same reason why swaddling a baby can help him/her sleep or stop crying.

Simple Ways to Make Bath Time a Splash with Sensory Issues - Autism Parenting Magazine

Like so many parents-to-be, when I was pregnant, I looked forward to wonderful moments spent bathing my little one. I recalled bubbles and giggles in our bathtub at home when I was little, and I was eager to create treasured memories with my own child.  But after my son was born and became big enough for me to bathe him in a full-size bathtub, I found that bath times were often stressful and confusing.  As is common with children who have sensory processing issues, my son Cole had extreme reactions to being bathed.  It seemed he was always crying and fighting me or was so giddy with excitement that I didn’t feel I could keep him safe. Cole would start jumping, screeching, and hand flapping, and I desperately tried to steady his slippery little body.  Afterward, when I towel-dried him, he would hug me so hard and so long that I wondered, What is up with this child? Why can’t he be this calm in the tub? I had yet to develop sensory smarts—the understanding of how my child’s different way of processing sensory input was affecting him and what I could do about it.

15 Easy Tricks to Make Everyday More Playful - Autism Parenting Magazine

Play is crucial for young children. It helps them learn how to work their brains and move their bodies, expands their social skills, promotes problem solving and the ability to focus, and, best of all, helps them feel happy with themselves.

Advice on Understanding and Calming Sensory Overload in Children - Autism Parenting Magazine

As a pediatric occupational therapist and a mother, I try my best to fully understand each child and his/her sensory needs, both at home and in my practice.  Children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) tend to experience sensory overload or adverse reactions to sensory input more frequently than typically developing children. In addition, toddlers and young children do not have fully integrated sensory systems and may experience sensory overload more often than older children.  As a result, these children have a greater tendency to move from PNS (parasympathetic nervous system response, a calm and alert state) to SNS (sympathetic nervous system response, a fight or flight state) in the presence of certain sensory stimuli.  These children may perceive sensory input that seems “normal” or “routine” to adults as overwhelming or even painful. This explains why they often experience a fight or flight (sometimes known as a meltdown or an adrenaline response) in the presence of these sensory stimuli.

Simple Ways Sensory Based Intervention Can Change Your ASD Child's Life - Autism Parenting Magazine

One in six children experiences sensory difficulties that affect everyday life. Sensory based intervention has been shown effective. A family-centered approach emphasizes parental coaching in natural environments of the family. Despite the importance of intervention carryover, adherence is believed to be low. This is due to the overwhelming nature, required commitment and lifestyle changes asked of children and their parents.