The Neurodivergent mind’s greatest asset is curiosity. The ability to think outside the box and bring new ideas to the table is unbeaten.
But in order to bring those ideas to life, many head for a fidget toy. In most cases this tends to be anyone with a neurodevelopmental condition such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and people with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These people are sensory seekers that need a little extra to regulate concentration. It’s the reason they are always on the move, trying to get the Serotonin and Dopamine flowing when it’s most needed.
But for many, the benefits of fidgeting provide an outlet to channel their emotions when their disabilities become too much to handle. Stimming, as it’s otherwise known, can enable a release of anxiety, and in some cases, alleviate the temptations of self-harm. And in children this behavior can boost their development of core skills. Examples include alleviating any difficulty with motor skills, and developing color and size discrimination through tactile input and comforting behavior.
So if you or your loved one needs something to keep their hands busy and channel that nervous energy, then check out 7 of the best Autism fidget toys that we use on a regular basis.
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By now you’ve probably heard of tactile fidget spinners. These popular sensory fidget toys are everywhere from Christmas crackers to classrooms and even in celebrity culture. And, the range of toys keeps growing each day.
The classic fidget toy also comes in different shapes and sizes, and even different weights for optimal spinning, making them great for people on the Autism spectrum of all ages to enjoy. Just like stress balls, these all-time classics are great for anyone with anxiety or sensory issues.
The benefits of fidgets like these allow the user to distract themselves from whatever is on their mind. They can do so by using physical activity to create an alternative outlet for focus, creating a sense of calm. Plus, by taking note of these sensory considerations, allowing the use of toys such as spinners can help stimulate dopamine through heightened sensory systems.
Our personal favorite of all the fidget products is this bubble pop fidget spinner with its vibrant colors that combines two of our favorite fidget toys in one!!!
Infinity Cube – Best Sensory Item for Busy Hands
The infinity fidget cube is brilliant. These are the perfect fidget stim toys for adults and older children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Like silly putty, these are great if you prefer tactile stimulation and need to keep your hands busy and are looking for an anxiety-relief fidget toy.
Fidgeters who benefit from heightened tactile awareness conduct their sensory seeking through touch and feel, aka tactile stimulation. So compared to some others on the list, the infinity cube encourages beneficial stimming as more of a stress relief hand sensory toy that improves adult and child focus alike.
An infinity cube can come in many different styles – We love the one in our picture because of the way it’s marketed towards adults, especially great for a professional setting. But like so many toys out there, so there’s something for neurodivergent people no matter who they are!
The 12-sided fidget cube takes the traditional cube and offers an even greater variety of textures and sensory tools all in one cube. For example, some sides make a subtle clicking noise, while others offer a silent fidget experience, great for when you’re in a meeting or an exam, for example. Different materials are also used to give different textures to play with.
The great thing about this type of fidget cube is that if you’re used to sensory balls or cubes, the idea of having something in your hand will be familiar. But while stress balls are great for keeping your hands busy, those of us with fidgety fingers need a little more than a stress ball to cope with anxiety and sensory overload that comes with being neurodivergent!
Having multiple fidget options at once is enough to satisfy anyone with ADHD. Whether hyperfocusing or distracted, having so many fidget options keeps this ADHD fidget toy well-used through the most anxious times. Plus, because of its size, it’s also one of the most popular toys amongst children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Original Flippy Chain Fidget Toys and Puzzles – Fidgets for Finger Movements
Here’s one of the author’s favorite fidgets for keeping those fingers busy. Great for irritating family members, the flippy chain fidget toy is the one that satisfies those who enjoy a clicking sound as well as finger-fidgeting. This kind of fidget tool often comes as part of an anti-anxiety sensory fidget pack, but you can get them individually too.
It’s quite easy to forget when buying a gift for an autistic loved one that sensory stimulation often needs to stimulate multiple senses at the same time. And the great thing about these is that, even for people with sensory processing disorders who suffer from sensory overload, in the right conditions, these flip chains can satisfy not only tactile input without overstimulation, but also cognitive distraction.
For example, if you’re in a quiet room and feel under stimulated or anxiety is running high, the clicking noise stimulates the ears, the metal provides visual stimulation and a sense of calm. As well as tactility through the coldness of metal, repetitive motor movements keep your hands busy when using this fidget toy.
Oral stimulation toys for children (and now adults) are one of the most popular therapeutic devices amongst the Autism community. When the anxiety is rife, individuals with Autism sensory issues may find non-food items to try and curb the anxiety. Ties, necklaces, pens, and cuffs are all common oral motor fidgets and of all the sensory sensations, give the biggest sense of calm.
So to avoid embarrassment or damage to teeth and the chewed item, many companies have started specializing in oral motor fidgets specially designed for physical and oral stimulation. These companies have created Chewelry, a form of silicone jewelry dedicated to oral motor stims that balance form and function. It’s designed to be a safe, non-toxic silicone toy for children and adults to put in their mouths without fear of injury.
From a sensory experience, the Chewelry normally has a rubbery texture to avoid any damage to the teeth. These oral motor fidgets come in all shapes and sizes and bright colors, from discreet traditional designs to chewnicorns and chewnisaurs for kids.
Check out this set of 5 chewelry assortments here!
6. Bubble Fidget Pop Tubes and Sensory Toys – A Great Party Gift
Not every fidgeter needs physical stimulation. Ever heard of ASMR? Well, as we mentioned in the flippy chain description, autistic children and adults have not only a heightened tactile stimulation but also an increased sensory sensitivity to sound, too.
That’s why when it comes to products for anyone with sensory disorders, popper stress reliever sensory toys, like a bubble fidget pop keychain with bright colors or pop tubes, are the most popular fidgets for anyone who is predisposed to seeking certain noises.
There’s something so satisfying about pop bubbles and tubes that make it one of our favorite sensory toys to play with. They also provide a calming input without overstimulation for anyone with sensory processing difficulties as well. Some are designed to fit on a belt loop using a carabiner clip, making them easy to take with you wherever you are and great party bag gifts!
And what’s better, wait until you see this fidget popper bag! Kids no longer need to put up with the classic pop sound toy otherwise known as disused bubble wrap popping. Instead, they can take their popper with all its bright colors and flashy designs with them wherever they go. And, they’ll have somewhere to put all their other stim toys too!
Koosh Ball – Stress Balls for Sensory Processing Disorders
For those who require more sensory input or have difficulty with motor skills and grip strength, then sensory toys for Autism are a good choice. Textured fidgets and stress balls that don’t require much movement, but can offer a sensory experience through their tactile senses are perfect. They’re also a nice size for children and great for anyone with visual impairments!
Stress balls are so popular because they’re multipurpose. As well as allowing stress relief, stress balls can also provide a textural stimulation, as well as engage you in play by throwing stress balls to another person (just try not to throw it at them, of course!).
There’s something so satisfying about the Koosh balls in particular that hits the stim spot every time! Not only that, this anti-stress sensory toy is great for helping younger kids with social interaction since they can engage in play with other young children too.
As you can see there’s a well-priced, high-rated range of fidgets on the marketing that anyone with ADHD or Autism can enjoy.
It’s a sad truth that for many, children in classrooms are misunderstood; their agitation isn’t from boredom, but constantly high anxiety levels and a burning desire to develop their mind into something bigger.
As the role of these stim toys for Autism and ADHD becomes more universally accepted as a valid everyday therapy for stress relief and sensory overstimulation, they’re becoming more of an essential part of everyday life and making us all feel that little less overwhelmed!
Keep reading our blog for more lifestyle tips to help calm the anxiety of Neurodiversity!
Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Neurodadversity
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