Toys to help autistic kids

April 2, 2009 2:34:50 PM PDT
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. There are more than 67-million people worldwide on the spectrum. So Toys-R-Us has joined with Autism Speaks to identify toys that can help kids reach milestones. Michael Brown, 7, of National Park, N.J., stopped while playing to introduce himself. It's something his mother Heather said he wouldn't have done if it weren't for therapy. Michael has autism and works hard to improve his communication and social skills. And toys help.

"You find toys that they're receptive to and you pull language from them," Heather Brown said.

So Toys-R-Us has joined with 'Autism Speaks' to identify ten toys that 'speak to kids with autism.' They're basic toys, like stacking blocks. that won't overstimulate, but can bring out communication skills and encourage sharing.

"If he knows how to play with toys and can share that and maybe want to share that with other kids which is a big accomplishment for kids with autism," Brown said.

Some of the toys on the list also help with fine motor skills, which can also be a struggle for autistic kids.

Christina Carty of 'Autism Speaks' said the best part is kids don't know they're getting therapy. "They're having fun while we are able to engage them and bring them into a social world," she said, adding that can make all the difference when it comes to helping kids on the spectrum reach their goals.

To see the toys identified to help autistic kids, visit:

For toys identified to help kids with other disorders or struggles,

Toys are not exclusively sold at Toys-R-Us.

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