Shop The Story
Check out these fun toys and tools that will help kids with Down syndrome, autism, ADHD, sight impairment, juvenile arthritis, cerebral palsy, and sensory integration impairment. These products for children with special needs range from soothing games to stimulating sensory toys.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Indoor Therapy Swing for Kids with Special Needs
This therapy swing for kids has a swaddling design that helps children with sensory issues and other special needs feel soothed. Kids can spend hours in the Indoor Therapy Swing and still feel comfortable. With this toy, children can work on developing their fine motor skills and balance while also building muscles. This cotton and spandex swing is machine washable, comes with the required hardware and holds up to 100 pounds.
Educational Insights Teachable Touchables Texture Squares
Help develop tactile awareness in special needs children and provide stimulating, sensory play with these Teachable Touchable Texture Squares. This toy comes with twenty squares in a variety of textures including scratchy, slippery, silky, and soft. Little ones can work on their vocabulary and learn to identify different textures with this fun sensory toy.
Camo Chameleon Bean Bag Toss
Kids with Down syndrome can have difficulty with fine motor skills, so games and puzzles with just a few large pieces to work with are often a hit. Especially good are games like this bag toss — its level of difficulty can be adjusted to custom-fit the child and her developmental stage. Try starting out close, then slowly moving farther back! This game helps develop hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills.
Vtech Tote & Go Laptop
For kids with autism, focus on cause-and-effect toys (push a button, get a response), especially those that promote interaction by encouraging a verbal reply. Vtech's Tote & Go Laptop Plus does just that, teaching letters, words and more through fun games and friendly characters.
Switch Adapted Puppy
Children with limited movement can still enjoy and operate traditional-style toys that have been adapted to use with a special-needs switch. Just plug the easy-to-press switch (not included) into the adapted switch port and watch the puppy walk, bark and wag his tail!
LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun
Children with cerebral palsy often have involuntary, spastic movements, so toys with big parts are better. At twice the brand’s normal size, LEGO's chunky DUPLO bricks fit the bill when it comes to awesome toys for kids with cerebral palsy.
Feelings In a Flash: Emotional Intelligence Flashcard Game
Identifying different feelings, emotions and appropriate responses can be difficult for some children with special needs. Help them develop emotional intelligence skills the same way you work on math, vocabulary and other basic skills—with a fun flash card game. Build confidence, practice empathy and learn coping skills in your kiddo with these 50 illustrated cards.
Weplay Infinite Loop
If you’re looking for cerebral palsy toys, muscular dystrophy toys or toys for any condition that affects the motor systems, try items that work with the child’s limited movements. A good choice if he uses a wheelchair: the Infinite Loop. It increases upper-body dexterity and concentration as he opens and closes the tracks to keep the ball on its path. Two balls of different weights, for two difficulty levels, are included.
Rock Pets Turtle
Think open-ended crafts for kids with ADHD because focusing on directions can be hard. Instead of paint-by-numbers, get a kit that gives plenty of creative license, like paint-a-rock-pet.
Weighted Toy Lizard
Weighted stuffed animals are great toys for kids with autism. This lizard weighs almost 5 pounds and offers a sensory stimulation for children that is both physically and mentally soothing. The Manimo Weighted Lizard was designed to help keep children calm and focused during daily activities, and it’s a great companion for nighttime.
Consider games that adapt to fit the developmental stage of a child with Down syndrome. The object of Rush Hour is to move vehicles out of your car's way to escape the gridlock. Players progress at their own pace, tackling four levels of difficulty.
The Bilibo child seat is great for kids with Down syndrome, autism or sensory processing disorders. It’s big enough for children of varying ages to sit comfortably, and helps stimulate senses, teach body awareness and encourage creative play. The rocking and spinning motions can also be especially soothing for children with special needs.
Fidget Toys Bundle Sensory Set
Fidget toys are an excellent source of relaxation for kids with autism, ADHD, anxiety and more. Keep their hands busy with a range of therapeutic toys designed to keep fidgety little fingers busy, like squeeze beans, a motion liquid timer, a rainbow magic ball and more.
The Tiny Talker
The Tiny Talker is more of a tool than just a toy for kids with special needs, but your little one will still love using it. Designed for nonverbal or verbally-delayed children to be able to communicate their basic wants and needs, the tiny talker has buttons with visual indicators to push that announce things like “yes”, “no”, “thirsty”, “hungry”, “bathroom”, “play”, “television” and more. Pair it with the book Lucas the Lion Loves The Tiny Talker to help your child get excited about using it.
Hide Me Tent & Tunnel
There are two sides to sensory integration impairment: It makes some kids feel overstimulated by the world and causes others to seek out more interaction. For those who like to escape, a tent-and-tunnel combo is ideal.
6-Pack Chew Bands Necklaces
Parents of children whose special needs involve drooling or an oral sensory habit know the damage it can cause to shirt sleeves and necklines of clothing. This value pack of six chew bands is designed for kids ages 5 and older is made of machine-washable, superabsorbent material to soak everything up and keep your little one’s clothes clean, dry and comfortable.
Fat Brain Toys Dimpl
The Dimpl toy is a great toy for infants and toddlers with autism or ADHD who crave sensory play but aren’t yet old enough for traditional fidget toys. The soft silicone bubbles are made of food-grade silicone, so they’re safe to chew on. This toy helps teach fine motor skills, color recognition, and cause-and-effect while letting little ones engage in sensory stimulation.
For kids with juvenile arthritis, it can be difficult to find low-impact games that encourage physical movement and develop balance skills. Twister is easy on the joints and low-impact when the mat is laid on a soft surface like carpet.
Basic Skills Busy Board
Busy boards are a great tool for parents of children with special needs. Keep fidgety little hands focused, all while helping your kiddo develop basic skills like shoe tying, belt buckling, zipping and more. This busy board is portable so it can be taken on long car rides to keep your child engaged.
Counting and Sorting Bears
Help special needs children with anxiety, ADHD, autism, and other diagnoses develop mathematical skills, color recognition, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills with this soothing pick-up game. The tweezers, which grab and sort bears into color-coordinated cups, are easy to use, even for kids with unrefined fine motor abilities.