Autism and Interactive Toys, A Mom's Experience

Autism and Interactive Toys, A Mom's Experience

Pregnancy is a time of joy, great changes, and exciting waiting. All parents prepare for the birth of their baby one or another way. They pick wallpapers or paint color for its room, moms look through babies clothes sections on the sites, dads assemble baby’s cradle.

Parents-to-be spend hours picking the right name, beautiful and unique, they find funny variants and laugh. Future mothers learn how to breathe, fathers learn how to stay calm and support their partner.

And, of course, they talk about their little one to come soon.  What will it look like? More like mom or dad? Will it have daddy’s excellent sense of humor? Will it love the music they love? And fantasies, a lot of fantasies about their future together -  first words, first steps, first day at school…

Whatever they think and imagine, all the parents, both present and future, want to see their closest little human healthy and merry.

My pregnancy was one of the happiest periods of my life. (Except nausea of course.)

I was full of delight, I couldn’t wait to finally meet my little daughter. I was flying instead of walking.

Since we had learned that I carried a girl, we were choosing names, we even argued over this matter. Ruth, Amanda, Sandra, Allison…But at last, we found the perfect name. Elizabeth. Beth. Betty.

Betty was born just the way we had imagined her to be. She was pink and screaming, and the most beautiful baby ever. Yes, every parent thinks this way.

We were the happiest people on the Earth. We were a family with a pretty healthy baby girl.

Everything was just the way we dreamed.

I thought that nothing could change my dream-like life. Betty was growing like every child of her age. Little fair-haired angel. But in the course of time, I began noticing that my daughter didn’t smile to anyone. I told myself she was just a shy kid. Though she didn’t smile even to me and my husband. Betty liked to play hide-and-seek, at least that way I explained her attempts to hide when somebody came to our house. The most hurtful for me was that she could sit alone not noticing my presence or absence.

At the age of 2, Betty was diagnosed with one of the autism spectrum disorders. We came to doctor for a simple routine examination, and he voiced my deep doubts and fears.

autism, interactive toys

Autism

The life of our family inevitably changed. We did and still do everything to adapt Betty to “normal” life. A child in the autistic spectrum typically requires lots of time and efforts. We have a very strict regime, every single action common for everybody else should be performed the definite way. Everything must be in its place, the order is extremely important. All that other people just don’t notice is important.

We are always seeking for an alternative to usual things to create the most comfortable environment for our daughter. And we can’t be sure whether Betty will accept or reject a new dress or a new toy.

Interactive Toys

Speaking about toys…I don’t know kids who don’t like toys. Some like toy cars, some children are fond of balls or Legos. Betty is just a child, so she likes toys, too. But choosing a toy for her is a little challenging. A child in the autistic spectrum needs not just a toy to play with, the toy has to be developing, help them to acquire new skills and be a comfort to them. That’s why we have always taken a serious approach to this issue.

Frankly speaking, when I heard about Ask Amy Doll, I was interested but also I was skeptical about it. I really wasn’t sure it could meet Betty’s special criteria for toys. But you never know if you don’t try. So we decided to purchase Ask Amy Doll for our daughter with autism. And we didn’t regret a second!

Ask Amy Doll became a really happy find for us. Its unique options helped Betty greatly. Surely, it didn’t happen at once. Betty needed some time to get used to Amy. But the fact my daughter didn’t get scared or upset cheered me a lot. That was a good sign. Step by step we introduced Ask Amy Doll into Betty’s everyday routine. Sometime later Betty became confident and relaxed in her usual activities thanks to Amy that accompanied every action. This life-like doll was a huge help in showing Betty how to communicate and react in certain situations.  Acquiring new skills stopped to be so stressful for Betty as Amy “performed” new actions first.  All new things went through “testing” by Amy, and this demonstrated their safety and harmlessness to Betty.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Amy Doll became a friend to my daughter, understanding and comfortable to be with. A friend for a child having autism is an enormous step in adaptation!

Amy’s natural facial expressions assisted Betty in perceiving people’s emotions. Her singing option is also very useful as music has a soothing effect. And it has to be said that soothing and comforting are the main priorities for parents of autistic children.

Summing up all said above, I can tell that buying Ask Amy Doll was a right decision. All my skepticism is gone. I’m just happy to see my daughter playing with her friend and being a cheerful child.

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Written by: Helen Nichols See other articles by Helen Nichols
About the Author:

Helen Nichols is the Editor-in-Chief of Well-Being Secrets, a website aimed at sharing emotional health, nutrition, fitness, and weight loss tips. Helen is also the mom of a little girl that was diagnosed as being in the autistic spectrum when she was two. 

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