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Children with autism sometimes suffer from stress when sensory interventions are required.

This can also be the same for the parent who perhaps feel that they must provide this constant intervention on a daily basis. To assist with this, many parents find that the use of sensory toys is beneficial as they have been proven to lower an autism sufferer's anxiety and stress levels.

This is something that is better for both child and parent, however, with so many different types available it is hard to know which are the best options. Here is our guide to fidget toys.

1. Fidget Spinners

«Spinners» have been becoming increasingly popular over the last couple of years but few realise how long fidget spinners have been used in the treatment of ADHD.

Fidget Spinners are designed to focus a child's attention and this is useful in a classroom environment. These types of toy are frequently used by children with autism as they again get the same benefits. The major advantage with this type of sensory toy is their size which means they can be taken and used almost anywhere and auditory processing disorder provide little distraction to others.

2. Hand Fidgets

Hand fidget toys appeal more to some suffers than others and include stress balls that are filled with gel or beads. The downside with these types of toy is that they can quickly become damaged and therefore not safe or appropriate.An occupational therapist or specialist shop will be able to advise you about the best hand fidgets that are currently available if your child has a preference for this type of toy.

3. Chew Toys

Chew toys serve a fantastic purpose when it comes to developing facial muscles, refining tongue co-ordination and improving motor skills.The common hang from the neck and are made from non-toxic silicone. These chews can be textured with dots, ridges, patterns, or smooth if your child prefers.

4. Fidget Cube

Fidget cubes have grown massively in popularity in recent years. The most common types are dice with different button and switches on all surfaces.

They don't make any noise so are ideal for a classroom environment. Wooden sorter cubes can appeal to younger children as they are brightly coloured and different sized. Other toys are again made from different materials so you need to establish what attracts your child's attention the most.

Like everything, it is down largely to personal choice.

5. Sensory Ring

Sensory rings are ideal for younger children as they do not pose a choking risk. They are small coiled toys that are very similar to a Slinky although sensory rings fit around the finger.

Most commonly they are made from either plastic or metal. An alternative is a wearable ring that has small balls attached that can be manipulated. Non-wearable rings include tangle rings that once again tend to hold a child's interest for a significant amount of time.

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7 years ago