They say that you have to learn to walk before you can run. I would suggest that children with autism need to learn how to stand first. Holding Mom or Dad’s hands while they help raise and lower her can be a fun game for baby and a great opportunity for lots of positive reinforcement. As an added bonus, those large muscle groups will be growing stronger and she will learn some of the motor planning necessary to stand.
Pulling herself up using furniture is a natural progression from there. She’ll need to do additional motor planning and some trial and error to coordinate her arms and legs and maintain her balance but she’ll get there. Placing a favorite toy on the couch and encouraging her to stand and reach for it may be just the motivation she needs! Before long, your baby will cruise the furniture like a champ.
Push toys help your baby transition from stationary support to a mobile support while she walks. Children with autism are often drawn to moving parts. Push toys like the Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy provide sturdy support for novice walkers while three gators will take turns chomping with every step!
One day, the skills and confidence that she has painstakingly built will propel her to take her first independent steps. However, parents of children with autism may observe that their child has an unusual gait and an unusual upper body posture while walking. They may not coordinate their arm and leg movements. Nor will they use their arms to maintain their balance or protect themselves when they fall. They may walk strictly on their toes rather than in the more typical heel-toe pattern. Please consult with your pediatrician about these concerns. Early physical therapy intervention may lessen the long term effects of these characteristics.Tags: baby toys, gross motor development, gross motor skills, play, toys for autistic children, toys for children with autism