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These are existing toys that have been designed for children with autism. There is a clear theme of ‘building/construction’ activities in fairly bold colours, but they seem quite muted. Apple reds instead of pillar-box red. The Autistic Society had this to say on the subject of colour:

“It is generally accepted that low arousal colours such as cream (not yellow or white) should be used for walls and patterned wallpaper should be avoided. Soft furnishings might also be kept fairly plain. Single-colour, painted walls can also eliminate the possibility of unplanned wallpaper stripping. Some parents and carers have asked our Autism Helpline about organic and non-toxic paints. These can be particularly appropriate for people with autism who lick surfaces. Patterned floors can be confusing to walk across and may increase anxiety. Some people with autism may become fixated when looking at flooring.”

And Autism Answers said this:

“Sights, sounds, sunlight, changes in barometric pressure, smells, touch, and colors can have a profound effect on people with autism. Denise Turner, a designer, reported in Color & Autism: Seeing Color through Autistic Children’s Eyes that 85% of autistic children saw colors with far greater intensity. It has also been theorized that autistic people may have a significant increase in color differentiation, explaining the effects small changes in color hues can have on them. This is not surprising when you consider that autistic children experience the whole world with greater intensity than their neuro-typical peers. Lights are brighter, sounds louder, touch is more intense, smells are stronger, and colors are—more colorful.

Although placing “meaning” on colors can change from culture to culture, which can affect the way we feel and behave when exposed to different colors, studies show that our mind has a natural response to certain colors. You may know that blues, greens and purples are “cool” colors, and can be calming and soothing. Browns, yellows, and oranges are warm colors, and can make you feel warm and cozy. But did you know that reds can make your autistic child angry, or even be painful? Or, that white could be overwhelming, bright and hurt their eyes? In part II, Problematic Colors we will explore what specific colors mean, and how they may be affecting your autistic child.”

These assemblage based toys are similar to the sort of therapeutic toys I’d like to make for children with an ASC to use with various animals.

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These assemblage based toys are similar to the sort of therapeutic toys I’d like to make for children with an ASC to use with various animals.

I particularly like more organic materials such as wood, bioplastic, fabrics etc firstly due to the unsustainable petro-plastics industry, and also because if I am to make objects that will most likely be chewed, by either child or animal, then the less nasty things going in their bodies the better…

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I also loved these paper polyhedrons… These look incredibly complex and the colours are beautiful and complimentary. But there is so much room for exploration with things like this. If these ‘slotted’ together somehow, they could even be made out of ‘pet biscuit’ material… Little bit of creativity, little bit of play, little bit of animal interaction.

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