At this week's conference I attended a session about children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A surprising statistic was mentioned--1 in 68 children are affected.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is now used to encompass the variety of disorders "that impairs a child's ability to communicate and interact with others," according to the Mayo Clinic definition. ASD "includes disorders that were previously considered separate--autism, Asperger's syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified."
Some of these children have "extra sensitivity or a lack of sensitivity to sensory input or an unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment."
The workshop presenter spoke about the importance of "sensory play." Not exactly sure what the term means? Here are "100 Sensory Play Activities" that may be helpful in understanding. There are many more websites dealing with sensory play; do a Google search using "sensory play" as your search term. Another place to look is Pinterest, using the same search term.
Don't forget that sensory play is also fun for all children! Look for these items on play--sensory or otherwise--in our collection:
Masi, Wendy S. The Parent's Guide to Play. [FT 649.5 MAS]
Miller, Linda G. Making Toys for Preschool Children: Using Ordinary Stuff for Extraordinary Play. [FT 371.337 MIL]