Children with special needs basically have the same desire to play as normal children. Toys can also be used as a learning tool in developing abilities in children with special needs. It is just, You have to be careful in choosingchoose toys according to the conditions of each child.
The definition of children with special needs are children who have certain medical conditions, emotions, or learning disorders, which may require therapy, medication, or special assistance. For example, children with epilepsy, diabetes, cerebral palsy, or children who need a wheelchair for activities. In addition, children with visual, hearing, or speech impairments, as well as children with Down's syndrome are also children with special needs.
Important Things When Choosing Toys on The child with special needed
Some children with special needs have difficulty even carrying out daily activities that are considered easy for normal children. For example, difficulty communicating, impairment in motor skills, or social skills.
However, like children in general, children with special needs also like to play and can use toys to develop their abilities. Children with special needs should also get toys that are age-appropriate as well as safe and able to stimulate social, mental, physical and emotional development.
Here are some things that can be applied when choosing toys for children with special needs:
- Adapting to ageInfants to children aged one year, it is recommended to be given toys that help explore with the five senses. For example, toys that make children bite, reach, drop objects, can make sounds, or have interesting colors. Then at a later age, which is 1-3 years, you can give games that stimulate fine motor skills, thinking power, and strengthen muscles, for example blocks of various shapes and puzzle simple. After the child is 3-5 years old, you can also add types of games that sharpen imagination.
- Prepare as neededThere are several conditions for children with special needs that need to be considered, for example, children with Down syndrome who experience disorders in fine motor skills, so that puzzle can be a big challenge for them. While autistic children who have difficulty focusing, need toys that involve interaction, such as pressing buttons to hear sounds or see certain movements. Toys with regular static motion, such as a spinning wheel, are one type of toy that appeals to autistic children. Large toys are appropriate for children with autism. cerebral palsy, because they often experience unexpected convulsive movements. And for children with motor system disorders, provide toys that can be used in limited positions, such as sitting in a wheelchair.
- Limiting electronic toysIt is difficult to limit today's children from a variety of electronic devices that are considered as toys and learning tools. In fact, there are risks to health and the risk of developmental disorders from these devices, including being overweight, and being late in mastering language or other developmental disorders. A study revealed that electronic devices can interfere with the ability to think independently, because children accept a passive learning style. For children under 2 years old, it is recommended not to be allowed to watch television or play with gadgets at all. Meanwhile, children over 2 years old can only watch television or play games in gadgets for 1-2 hours per day.
In addition to interfering with the ability to think independently, electronic toys can also affect a child's attention span. For example, toys with lights, lights, or lots of movement don't require a lot of concentration. This can make it difficult for your child to focus on a stationary toy, such as a book.
Toys should let children develop their imagination, without too many limiting functions. This will stimulate children to think creatively and spontaneously. For children with special needs, in addition to choosing toys according to age, choose toys that are appropriate for the child's condition.