Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Christmas conundrum!

(23 Posts)
hildajenniJ Thu 27-Aug-15 09:07:43

I have a five year old GS with high functioning autism. He is very intelligent but emotionally he is quite behind. In emotional terms he is on about the same level as a three year old. He will need a toy sophisticated enough to satisfy his level of intelligence, and manual dexterity, and be able to hold his interest, but not so difficult to put together. I am scratching my head trying to find something suitable for a three year old but intricate enough for a five to seven year old. My DD asked me to buy a stomp rocket as she thinks he will enjoy it, but if I cannot find one I am at a loss.
Any ideas would be very helpful.

ninathenana Thu 27-Aug-15 09:13:25

I empathise, DGS is 3 but has major speech problems amongst other things. He cannot enjoy age appropriate toys.
I'm not helping am I smile Good luck, I hope you find something.

Maggiemaybe Thu 27-Aug-15 09:23:50

I had no idea what a stomp rocket was, hildajenniJ, but I googled it and Amazon seem to have them. Whether they're the right sort though...

Maggiemaybe Thu 27-Aug-15 09:25:23

This is just one alternative:

tiggypiro Thu 27-Aug-15 09:31:22

My GS's (2 & 6) enjoy what I can only describe as Duplo Technical lego. I picked it up 2nd hand somewhere but no doubt a good toyshop should be able to tell you if it is still available. The pieces are large and put together with a sturdy screwdriver and the set we have can be made into diggers etc.
It could be worth a look.

Teetime Thu 27-Aug-15 09:50:45

DD1 always found the early Learning centre to be very helpful in choosing appropriate toys for GD who had a similar problem at that age.

hildajenniJ Thu 27-Aug-15 10:12:18

Nina, my DGS also has a speech delay and has been seeing the speech therapist for over a year with very little headway. I may well end up getting him the stomp rocket, but I really wanted something to stretch him and involve his imagination and creativity. Oh, where to begin?

tinaf1 Thu 27-Aug-15 10:15:53

Don't know stomp rocket but Meccano do a good range (amazon ) on a par with Lego although all kids seem to love Lego good luck

hildajenniJ Thu 27-Aug-15 10:16:29

The trouble with Lego etc is that the peices are quite small and very chewable! Even the technical sets have peices that can be broken by an ardent chewer. (Which he is + his 2 brothers). I am hoping to steer clear of small parts!

vampirequeen Thu 27-Aug-15 10:36:13

You can get stomp rockets for Amazon, John Lewis and Toys R Us. They're a great toy. We take one to campsites and they're the favourite of children of all ages.

Tresco Thu 27-Aug-15 11:26:28

Does he have a wooden train set? They can be quite complex and challenging if you have more than the figure of eight track. Plus the extra cranes and other accessories can be added over time. I worked with a lot of primary age boys with ASD who loved the sets. Also they can be very good for encouraging co-operation if more than one child playing - don't give them the trains until the track is a complete circuit.

JackyB Thu 27-Aug-15 11:34:38

Chunky wax or wooden crayons and a large sketch pad should be good for any age. Even a three-year-old should know how to use a book.

A ball to kick or just roll around the floor. He will be fascinated by the physics of that without much physical dexterity required, and as he develops, his skills will improve and he can do more things with it.

ninathenana Thu 27-Aug-15 11:52:02

hildajenni DGS has had speech therapy too but no progress what so ever sad they don't think his speech will ever be understood by anyone who doesn't know him. Like your DGS he is bright and has a lot to say. Knows colours can count to 10 but has no interest in books, and drawing is just 'making his mark' (scribble)
They are so hard to buy for aren't they.

shysal Thu 27-Aug-15 12:01:43

How about a giant bubble making wand? An adult will have to help to make them, but my GCs at all ages have enjoyed the amazing results. There are recipes on line for home-made versions of the solution to save money, I used to make it by the bucket-full and store it. The results are better when the air is damp, so Ch----mas time would be ideal. Link shows one of several types available.
Giant bubbles starter kit

ninathenana Thu 27-Aug-15 12:05:22

I have just googled 'toys for autistic children' it brings up a few sites. One suggestion was Bob It. (sorry no link) it's an electronic device that plays music and gives directions. Sounds a bit like Simple Simon but can be used by one player. I think my DGS would like it.

Maggiemaybe Thu 27-Aug-15 13:03:36

I don't believe it, shysal! I went back to Amazon an hour ago to order the stomp rocket I'd never heard of until this thread (I'm easily led!). And while browsing through other toys, as you do, I found myself putting that giant bubbles starter kit in my basket too. grin We're off on a family holiday soon, so I'm sure these will both be well received by the DGS (and the DC, no doubt).

Gransnet - it's bad for your bank balance....

hildajenniJ Thu 27-Aug-15 14:49:51

ninathenana, DGS's speech therapist says that he can make all the speech sounds, but doesn't appear to want to. She says that if he ever speaks properly it will have to come from him. He manages to get by with the little intelligible speech he has, and sign language of his own invention. They are managing to understand him at school! my DD describes him as a big boy toddler, which is just about right. He was asked to draw a picture of himself at school, and drew a large green spirally circle, whereas everyone else drew a rudimentary person. I think I will get him the stomp rocket, but on the other hand Bob it looks good. Thank you all for the suggestions. I might even buy him a big truck!! He's very into large vehicles, fire engines etc.

rosesarered Thu 27-Aug-15 15:10:02

My eldest DGS has high functioning autism too hilda,and at around the age of five( and even now sometimes) he liked sensory toys best. So, yes, bubbles ( best for good weather though) and stikkle briks if you can still get them?Any rubbery and bouncy or noisy toy, also xylophone or drums.
He can't really draw, even now at almost 11, so no interest in colouring things. He loved bird whistles, those that you put water into?there are sites online for sensory toys but they tend to be very expensive,and you can often find similiar things in garden centres and even the £1 shop.Anything with texture, smell, noise is generally thought good.Can he manage to do jigsaw puzzles?

hildajenniJ Thu 27-Aug-15 17:21:04

I have never seen him do a jigsaw puzzle roses. He loves his Lego, but his Mum has put that away because he chews it,and had mangled many bricks. Therefore I don't think stickle bricks would be a good idea. We got him a floor mat keyboard last year, which he loved until he tried to find out how it worked, and ruined the wiring! He is quite good at colouring in, but it doesn't hold his attention for very long. Bubbles is a good thought. He likes anything watery. Not for winter time, in the house though.

midgey Thu 27-Aug-15 17:39:36

How about a selection of those balls with lights in, my class used to love them. Not the hard ones but squidgy ones, stretchy ones etc. they won't last long if he chews but great fun for awhile. You can buy specific chewies for children, sort of T shaped plastic which means they can have one thing that may be chewed while other things may not. May be on a special needs website?

hildajenniJ Thu 27-Aug-15 17:58:32

Yes, he's had the chewy thing that went round his neck. He ate it!

Katek Thu 27-Aug-15 19:17:42

I once bought dgs a cardboard rocket ship. It comes flat packed, needs no tools to assemble and once it's built you can fit two small boys inside. We let him loose to decorate his spaceship with crayons, paint and anything he could stick on it. Will try to find link.

Katek Thu 27-Aug-15 19:22:10

It's You can buy aeroplanes and playhouses as well.