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Guest Blog: Colleen's Top Toys for Kids with Autism - Holiday Gift Guide - featured December 1, 2010

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Editor's Note: PediaStaff is not affiliated with, nor will profit in any way from these recommendations. In our experience, the company generally carries excellent educational toys, so when we saw the blog we asked for reprint permission.

[Source: Learning Expressions]

This article is reprinted with express permission of Learning Express and was originally posted on their Learning Expressions Blog

by: Colleen, Learning Express Store Manager, California

I’ve worked as the manager of the Learning Express toy store in Roseville, California for ten years now and wanted to share some of my experience with finding toys for children with special needs. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a qualified professional in child development, but I do have quite a bit of life experience. My daughter is fifteen years old and she has Autism. She was diagnosed before she was two and although she has very little language she’s been “mainstreamed” since kindergarten. The reason this was possible is due to the time we spent making every play opportunity a learning opportunity.

I used to think that the only way to buy toys for my child was online or in catalogs. I assumed that toys used for therapy were special and came from special educator catalogs. WRONG! After working at Learning Express I have come to realize that we have an entire range of toys, including “everyday products,” that can help families with special needs children bond, share, and learn all at once.

Here are a few of my top picks. FYI, these are also great suggestions for children who have other learning disabilities, and they’re great for every kid, no matter what their needs are.

Obviously there are a lot of factors that can’t be covered in this post. For example, the importance of knowing how old the child is and, more importantly, what the child is working on in terms of goals. With that kind of information, Learning Express employees can give better guidance as to what product would be most helpful. Since we can’t gather that kind of information here, we’ll start off with some great toys for teaching the basics, like the ABCs.

Read the Rest of Part One of this Article HERE

And Part Two HERE

Tags: Article Autism Newsletter 3 December 2010