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Do autistic people play with toys?

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects millions of people worldwide. It is a developmental disorder that affects social skills, communication, behavior, and interaction with the environment. While every individual with autism is unique and has different needs, one common question that arises is whether autistic people play with toys. In this blog post, we will explore this topic in depth.

Understanding Autism

Before we delve into whether or not autistic people play with toys, it is important to first understand autism itself. As we mentioned earlier, autism is a developmental disorder that affects the way a person interacts with their environment. It is a neurological disorder that usually appears during early childhood and continues throughout a person’s life.

One of the main characteristics of autism is difficulty with social interactions. This can include difficulty making eye contact, recognizing facial expressions, understanding social cues, and developing friendships. Another characteristic of autism is repetitive behaviors or activities. This can include routines or rituals that must be followed, motioning or rocking back and forth, and difficulty transitioning from one activity to another.

Playing with Toys and Autistic Children

Now that we have a better understanding of autism, we can address whether or not autistic people play with toys. The simple answer is yes, autistic children do play with toys. However, the types of toys that they play with may vary from those that neurotypical children may enjoy.

Toys provide a lot of benefits for autistic children. They can provide sensory input, help with self-regulation, offer a means of structured play, and can provide comfort. Sensory toys, in particular, can be very helpful for autistic children. These types of toys can help them stay calm and grounded, as well as provide input through their senses. This can include toys such as weighted stuffed animals, fidget toys, and putty.

It is important to keep in mind that every child is different, and what toys work for one autistic child may not work for another. When selecting toys for an autistic child, it is important to consider their likes and dislikes, as well as their specific needs and interests.

Toys and Therapy

Toys can also be a useful tool in autism therapy. Play therapy is often used to help autistic children develop better communication and social skills. It can be an effective means of teaching children how to interact with others, interpret social cues, and express their emotions.

One type of therapy that is used with autistic children is called “Applied Behavior Analysis”. This type of therapy is designed to teach children appropriate social and other skills. It uses toys and other objects to help children learn these skills in a fun and engaging way.

Other types of therapy that may use toys include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. For example, speech therapists may use toys to help children develop better language skills by having them label objects or use sounds to imitate animal noises.

Choosing Toys for Autistic Children

Choosing toys for autistic children can be challenging, but there are some things you can keep in mind to make this process easier. Here are a few tips:

Consider the child’s sensory needs

Many autistic children have specific sensory needs. Some may crave sensory input, while others may be uncomfortable with certain textures or sounds. Consider this when selecting toys. For example, if a child is sensitive to sound, you may want to avoid toys that make loud noises.

Choose toys that encourage socialization

While autism can make socialization challenging, it is still important for children with autism to interact with others. Look for toys that promote socialization, such as games that require turn-taking or cooperative activities that require working together.

Think about the child’s interests

Like any other child, autistic children have their own interests and hobbies. Consider what they enjoy and choose toys that are related to those interests. This can help increase their motivation to play and engage with others.

Consider the child’s age and developmental level

When selecting toys, it is important to consider the child’s age and developmental level. Choose toys that are appropriate for their age and that match their abilities.


In conclusion, autistic children do indeed play with toys. While they may have different interests and needs than neurotypical children, toys can be a valuable tool in helping them learn and develop skills. Sensory toys can be particularly helpful, and there are many types of therapy that use toys to help children with autism develop social and other skills. When selecting toys for an autistic child, it is important to consider their unique needs and interests, as well as their developmental level.


What do autistic people do for fun?

Autistic individuals, like anyone else, have different preferences and interests when it comes to leisure activities. Some might enjoy solitary pursuits, while others enjoy being around people. Camping, reading books, listening to music, and playing video games, are just a few examples of the activities autistic individuals could enjoy.

Creativity is another popular interest among those with autism. Many individuals enjoy painting, drawing, building models, and writing stories, either independently or with others. Activities that involve creating something new are not only a source of entertainment, but can also be a powerful way to communicate and express oneself.

Physical activities and sports can also appeal to those with autism. Tennis, swimming, hiking, and dancing are all examples of activities that can be enjoyed by people with or without autism. In fact, some people with autism may be especially skilled at certain physical activities, such as gymnastics, due to their exceptional balance and coordination.

Sensory activities are also very popular among the autistic community. Sensory activities include anything that helps to stimulate the senses, such as listening to music, jumping on a trampoline, or playing with kinetic sand. These activities can be calming and therapeutic for people with autism, helping them to regulate their emotions and feel more relaxed.

Finally, it’s important to note that the interests and preferences of autistic individuals, just like anyone else, can shift and change over time. Therefore, it’s always important to keep communication open and see what leisure activities the individual is interested in at any given time.