Saturday, July 28, 2007

Thomas the Tank Engine top toy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thomas the Tank Engine characters are the favourite toys among children with autism, according to a survey by the U.K. National Autistic Society.
In the survey, 748 parents of children with autism -- 99 per cent -- ranked the Thomas & Friends character top among toys, according to a release posted yesterday on the society's website.
Bob the Builder was next at 77 per cent.
The survey, commissioned by the society to explore the strong positive relationship between children with autism and Thomas & Friends, also found parents felt their child had learned a lot about colours, numbers and language and speech from the characters.
Parents identified the clear facial expressions and simple stories presented by Thomas & Friends as critical for their kids.
Catherine Lewis said her autistic son, six, started liking Thomas at two years old.
"I actively encouraged him to engage with Thomas as I could see the benefits including helping him to understand facial expressions."