A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

3-Minute Read


Tam is at times very difficult to engage. His favourite things are tickles and rough and tumble. After that its his iPad and TV remote. By TV remote I mean that Tam has ultimate control of the TV with the ability to change channel and fast forward and rewind.

Toys are very hit and miss. Lego can lead to hours of play or a few seconds. Train sets normally require me to set them up and again Tam will either play for a little bit or just take it apart. So any toy that catches his attention and has multiple plays over a time are brilliant.

From the point of bought toys we have two that Tam loves, both light based. The first are bath light toys. Since the day he got them he has used them in the bath every time. For a recommendation Tam gives them a 10/10.

The next item is his goto for when he get too spun up. He grabs a furry blanket and his cushion with LED lights in it and hides under the blanket. When he uses the cushion I know he is trying to self regulate. It is brilliant that he goes to this place and tries to regulate himself and that his cushion helps with it. The lights pulse gently and fur is nice and soft. Tam highly recommends it. 10/10

Apart from his iPad those two toys get the most playtime, both bought by Uncle Mickey.

They are however not his only toys. One thing that I think most autistic kids like is fiddle toys. Tams goto fiddle toy are plastic straws (god help us if they are banned). He always has at least one. He uses them as drumsticks, he plays with them in his mouth and they give him comfort. I have to stockpile them and people who know Tam give me boxes of straws for him. Straws.

Lastly a thing we have started to do which Tam finds fascinating is to 3D fidget toys. We have printed loads of them. Some last and some don’t. The ones he likes at the moment are some octipi, some gimbals that you blow on to make them spin and a container with a screw thread that means gravity spins it.

Toys are difficult for all kids and are subject to moments of “got to have” to “obscurity in the cupboard”. For autistic kids it is just wonderful to find something that entertains them.

No matter your edge don’t every lose the child in you.

Take care
Alan & Tam

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