Games, Toys, and Autism

If you are reading this at the beginning of your Autism diagnosis journey, know that your child will have many joys. I began this post a year ago Games, Toys, and Autism and I hope to be more detailed with this post.

2 years old:
At this age my son loved Curious George. He brought it with him to preschool to give him comfort. Even though he had many other stuffed animals, this was one that he grew attached to! It will be a couple years later that other plushes come into the picture. One of his aunts had given this to him.

He started to develop his love of basketball at this age also and loved the repetitive motion of shooting the ball. We have videos of him practicing his shooting skills. So definitely purchase a basketball hoop. We did have him join a typical basketball team when he was in kinder. The noise was too much for him but he survived the season. It wouldn’t be till 4th grade that he would try it again.


We had this inside our home and he had a bin full of balls.

Bowling was another activity he enjoyed. My sister had given him a gigantic bowling set and was absolutely entertained by it. Whenever we visited my parents, he would use empty water bottles as pins and use any ball he could get his hands on to play bowling. I would say that for him “imaginary” play was more like substitution play.

His love for bowling allowed him to later enjoy himself at bowling birthday parties.

3 years old:
This year was definitely marked by a love of balloons. My mom and I were repeat customers at Party City. We learned that you could just bring your previously purchased balloons and refill it. Who knew that I would be visiting the grocery store to buy random balloons also. The Dollar Tree became our go to store when his obsession with it grew even more.

See his balloon themed party here

At this age, he also started to develop a love for Disney cars like Lightning McQueen. With many of his likes (didn’t know at this time) there would be a need to start a collection.

I am certain it was during this time he discovered the Disney store.

Age 4
My mom had a Baby Channel station. He loved watching EggBird. I am not sure if that eventually led to his love for Angry Birds. Looking back on my Facebook posts, at one time, he wanted his dad to go to Party City to buy him ten Angry Birds balloons. Once he loved something, he had to have several. His love for Angry Birds was not just balloons but also towels, plushes, and t-shirts.

Age 5
At this age he started developing a love for building with Angry Birds Jenga pieces. He loved toys like the following

This eventually led to his love for Star Wars.

Age 6-8
Definitely full blown love of Legos
He was building over 1000 pieces on his own. Explaining Some Lego Figures

Noise Sensitivity At Age 3

When my son was three years old, he developed noise sensitivity. Noises that didn’t bother him at the age of 2 and younger, bothered him at the age of 3. The sudden onset of laughter would make him panick. Whenever his father and I had conversations where our volumes went up, he would have a very negative reaction. In front of him, we had to make sure our tone would not cause him to get frantic.

At age 4 we tried auditory integration therapy. At that time it was one week’s worth of different sound frequencies delivered through headphones. If you called audiologists, they did not do anything for hyperacusis till the age of atleast 8. I found someone who did AIT whose own twin sons had Autism. Many occupational therapists are the ones to provide this therapy now. The cost of one week of therapy was about one thousand dollars.

At the age of 5 years old, since he loved basketball, we registered him to play basketball. He could not stand the buzzers and whistles. He would play in court covering one ear and then handling the ball with the other hand. After one season we stopped. The problem with noise could be found in the school setting. When he entered Kinder, you bet it was hard for him to hear that fire alarm! He wanted to stop going to school because of that. Then he memorized that the principal would have them before the 15th of the month. His anxiety was so high that he wasted brain power to memorize that schedule. It did take a village to help him. My sister was busy googling and got him headphones.

Sometimes he wore the noise cancelling headphones, other times he didn’t. But it was always in his backpack. This summer at the age of 9, he asked us to sign him up again for basketball. He felt he could handle the noise. Guess what?! He did! His love for basketball was even greater than his anxiety about all the noise! Thanks to http://www.quilliancenter.org/ for having such a great basketball program!  This was the program we signed him up with  when he was 5 and now at the age of 9.

 

 

We are so proud of him!