Importance of Toys to Kids with Special Needs
Special kids deserve a special place in this world so that they can be able to fit in. We need not only care for them, but we need to offer them all the support they need so that they can feel that they are part of us. By doing so, they usually feel secure, loved and thus there growth and development can be enhanced.
Regardless of the impairment that a child may be facing, it is vital for such a child to grow intellectually and socially. One of the best therapies which could help kids achieve such potential is the use of toys which aid the kid in learning and acquiring new skills. Just like normal kids, children with special needs also get attracted to toys and playtime is very beneficial in helping them realize their potentials and their interest. Moreover, playtime helps them to be at a position to fit in and get along with other kids especially in schools where they could feel as if they are not part of others because of the impairment that they may be having.
I’m a school teacher and in my profession I have interacted with kids who have various problems in their life. Handling kids who have motor or recognition needs can be a difficult task and requires one to give more attention if at all the kid will learn normally like others. As a teacher you have to give your best and support such a child so that he/she can feel as part of the learning community.
How Play Helps in the Social Development of Autistic Kids
Among the various tools that we use for kids includes the use of toys to help them learn and for brain development. During playtime, it is also necessary for you as a teacher to help such kids because playtime is also part of learning and helps the kid to identify things and also to realize their abilities.
I have an autistic kid in my class. At first, when the kid joined school sometimes last year, the parent never mentioned if he had any disabilities. However, within two weeks of being in school, I could tell that he was not acting like normal kids. There were a lot of things that he lacked and I could tell that he needed more attention.
Therefore I had a meeting with the parents and I realized that they too had not noticed that the kid had any special needs. However, I was still willing to have him in my class and I knew it was my duty to help him. On the other end, I also wanted the parents to be supportive to the kid while at home so that he could be able to hasten his development of communication and language, creative thinking and also fine motor skills.
Supporting Kids in Play
To achieve this, it was important to support the child by helping him develop various play skills which could help in his entire development. It is worth noting that autism usually makes various child plays much difficult for an autistic child to participate in. it can limit the play time and also make the child to be only interested in repetitive play which may not help him to progress in development of the brain.
The best thing to overcome such challenges is for a parent as well as the teacher to play together with the child. There is need to be supportive to the child in exploring the play environment and also in introduction to new plays and toys which could help him in getting the interest needed and also overcoming the difficulties which may be present to him. By joining him in play, you are virtually helping connect his brain with the toy or play and hence he is at a bigger advantage of developing the necessary skills required.
There is also the need for you to introduce various plays or toys which aid in development of the child. For instance exploratory plays or toys enables the child to explore various objects such as colors and sizes and this helps him in recognizing the various differences involved. Also cause and effects plays are a great way to help the child to realize that there actions on a plaything usually produces an effect such as pressing a button to make a toy car move. There is need to encourage and also reward the child with praise or something of interest whenever he does something right and worthy.
Also try to help the child to be constructive when using playthings such as blocks to produce something of interest. This can be done by showing the child by communicating to him about the various results which can be achieved by using various design or models and encouraging them to repeat the actions. Always keep track of his progress and make any changes in the plaything or environment when you discover that the child has lost interest in playing. Changing a toy or the environment can always result in more motivation.