Games for Autistic Boy

Project  / Project number: DB-129-18  /  Status:


The challenge

Stan has a learning disability, autism, sensory processing disorder. Stan has an inquisitive mind and likes to predict a sequence of events and then test it. Stan needed more complex cause and effect toys than pre-school toys but they needed to be safer than toys for older children. It was thought that a maze puzzle, where Stan could put something in one end and predict where it would go and come out would be appropriate. Following discussions with his mother two ideas emerged: a “coin drop” as he liked posting things, and a more complex marble game requiring Stan to rotate and slide movements to move marbles to a specific end point.

Stan has a learning disability, autism, sensory processing disorder.  He has no awareness of danger, is unpredictable, moves fast but can be dexterous.  He has Pica, which means he might eat anything, including non-food items, that will go in his mouth.  The objective, therefore, was to produce two games with the appropriate level of complexity and challenge but which could be played with no risk of Stan being able to swallow any parts.


The solution

The two games are shown in the pictures below.  They are predominantly made of wood with Perspex front panels.  The games had to be safe therefore:
• The loose ‘coins’ were 60mm in diameter and made of wood,
• The paint used was suitable for toys,
• The clear Perspex was recommended by the supplier as fit for use on a toy that will be roughly treated (ie Lexan Polycarbonate),
• The marbles were totally enclosed,
• Assemblies were doweled and glued for strength.


The benefit

Stan had two games that suited his mental and physical development and gave him the appropriate challenge and satisfaction in playing them.  They were made in a way that caused no risk.

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