November 28, 2018

Toys and games provide both education and entertainment for children with autism

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Several toys and games available this holiday season provide more than just fun for children dealing with autism spectrum disorders.

Families shopping for holiday gifts have options that can build social skills and provide a foundation for communication skills, said Mandy Rispoli, co-director of the Purdue Autism Cluster.

“Toys and games that promote turn-taking, perspective-taking and language development can offer valuable learning opportunities for children with autism spectrum disorders,” said Rispoli, an associate professor in the College of Education who specializes in the assessment and intervention of challenging behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities.

“Families can look for board games that focus on social skills like recognizing and handling emotions, empathy, social problem solving and making friends.”

ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. There is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.

Rispoli’s research investigates not only the behavior of children with autism to determine what the they are communicating but also helping teachers with the challenging behavior by developing new practices, preparation and support.

Among the toys, games and books Rispoli suggests for holiday shoppers are:

* Social Skills: Set of 6 Board Games. $36.95. https://difflearn.com/

* Halilit HL200 Mini Rainmaker. $10.99. https://www.halilitmusicaltoys.com/

* Zingo! $19.95. https://difflearn.com/

*LED Galaxy Spinner. $3.99. https://www.windycitynovelties.com/

* Vehicle Sound Puzzle. $12.95. https://difflearn.com/ 

Writer: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Source: Mandy Rispoli, (765) 494-7301, mrispoli@purdue.edu

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