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Some toys/distractions are more obvious like cars, trucks, hot wheels, puzzles, cartoons, computer games and movies. What will work with your child? You sort have to guess and try. It can be amazing what people with autism can excel at.

audio visual glasses

Audio, Visual, Stimulation, Relaxation Glasses- There are a number of manufactures of these glasses. They flash led lights in the glasses in sync with music or tones. The lights flash various wavelengths and patterns at you. There are programs that are supposed to relax or stimulate you. Programs can go from a couple of minutes to an hour or more. On some of the more high-end models, they provide very in-depth software to control wavelength, pattern, and syncing to music or tones. There are online communities that share programs with each other.

These worked in calming Thomas down to an extent. Thomas had programs he liked more than others. Eventually, he became bored with them and we used them less often.

beach ball Beach balls (ballons) are fun and away to interact with most people that have autism.

bubble tumbler Bubble Tumbler Good for Traveling

liquid bubbler toy Bubbler

build ball mazes Ball Mazes that you can build are mazes and puzzles.

perplexus Ball Mazes Perplexus are hard so not suggested for kids that do not have the focus or patience to figure out.

concentration card game

Card Games Thomas has been taught various card games over the years. Concentration can be an easier one to teach as you can start small with only 3 or 4 cards and build from there.


Clackers/Klackers- pendulum ball toy. We know a person with autism that uses this as a self-soothing device. It is a little annoying because of all the clacking of the balls together.

fiber optic light Fiber Optic Light

Google Earth is great in that you can zoom around even underwater. Thomas liked to go down to street view and drive around. He would go everywhere. He maps out wherever he is in his head. He eventually got bore with Google Earth and only goes into it occasionally.

Fidget cube

Fidget Cubes

gyroscope Gyroscope

Hiking/walk Lesson on patience and persistence.

We know of an autistic child that going anywhere new or even getting on the bus was an ordeal. They had social stories for anytime they would leave the house that they would have to be gone over repeatedly. Even then, it could take a long time just to go a few feet or enter a threshold. Overtime with much patience, they overcame this aversion so that now they can go hiking with their child. The child even looks forward to going hiking. This is a kid that it would take an hour to go down the school hall to get to the classroom and now hikes in a much more varied environment.

kalidescope Kalidescope

jacobs ladder Jacobs Ladder

jelly bean sensory Jelly Beads Sensory Autism residential services adolescent

jenga Jenga

key chain toys

Keychain Toys- We have this keychain toy that you pulled a little plastic tab and a little train would go around a little diorama and through a tunnel. This provided hours of entertainment for Thomas. It is worn out now but much loved. Never have been able to find another, but I doubt only one was made. It is kind of amazing what you can find in keychain toys, so keep your eyes peeled.

lava lamp
Lava Lamps

light show      light show

Light Shows/ Laser Shows some come with speakers that you can run music through

perpetual motion machine “Perpetual” Motion Machine (actual run on batteries)
plasma ball Plasma Ball You touch it the light follows your fingers. Changes in color.

puffer balls Puffer Balls

puzzle Puzzles

rail twirler Rail Twirler

star show Star Shows

tangle creationstangle creations Tangles

tops Tops

viewfinder View Finders

water games Water Games

wind up toys Wind Up Toys- Great for Travel

wire maze
Wire Maze –great for young minds no matter what age can provide hours of fascination. Thomas when he was young spent a lot of time going through how the beads went around the wire tracks.

book games and activities for autism There are books about games and activities to do with people with autism.