Autism and Early Intervention

April 1, 2014

by Larry Mestyanek, Ph.D. – President, TAG Toys, Inc.

Early intervention with an autistic child has proven to be the most promising approach for stimulating normal development. Like all infants and toddlers the primary source for stimulating physical and mental development for an autistic child is through the basic senses of seeing, hearing, touching and movement. The stimulation of these senses is the basis for more advanced learning.

The human brain is the only organ not fully developed at birth. The human brain actually grows as a result of stimulation from the environment. The growth is not an increase in the number of brain cells or the size of the brain but in the formation of dendrites which are extensions from a brain cell that create connections between and among other brain cells. These connections are pathways whereby information is learned and stored in memory. With repeated stimulation these pathways solidify and strengthen. This is the basis of intelligence.

Every infant and in particular the autistic child who cannot yet speak, read or write depends on building sensory sub skills to allow for more complex learning. Developing these sub skills is accomplished first by sensory input from the environment followed by sensory output from the child. The next step is the manipulation of the environment through movement. There is no greater reward (positive reinforcement) for a child than to cause an effect in his or her world. This is why children grasp, push and pull, twist and turn, and mimic observed behavior.

We all have heard the real estate maxim – location, location, location. With learning the maxim is sub skills, sub skills, sub skills.

TAG Toys are specifically designed to target the development of sub skills basic for more advanced leaning. A child is born into a 3 dimensional world and must begin learning in the third dimension. This is why all of the TAG Toys are what we call “manipulatives”. Toys that are played with, handled, touched, moved, “manipulated” and in the process providing the stimulation that causes the brain cell extensions (dendrites) to grow and strengthen.

The products most successful with the autistic child in developmental order are:
 Spin-Around Glitter Drum
 Geo Form Boards
 First Blocks
 Giant Knob Shape Puzzle
 Amazing Tracker
 Maple Shape Sorter
 Shape Sorter with Mirror
 Hide and Seek Teddy Bear Puzzle
 Memory Circles
 Tumble Down Counting Pegs
 Motor Shapes Sequence Board
 Size and Shape Comparison Puzzle
 Watch Me Count! Number Puzzle
 I Can Spell! Alphabet Puzzle
 Lock Box Memory Game
 Locks and Latches Activity Board
 Hobby and Art Table

TAG Toys is an environmentally friendly, family company that proudly hand crafts hundreds of educational toys in the USA, including toys that help children learn to spell and count. Please visit www.TAGToys.com

Join the conversation by asking TAG Toys a question on Facebook.


Piggy Banks Teach Kids about Saving Money

October 25, 2012

A reporter asks us… “Other than a savings account, how can you teach children about saving money?”

Managing money can actually be fun, if you’re five years old and it’s your own piggy bank.

TAG Toys Wooden Pig Bank

Wooden Pig Bank from TAG Toys

To help teach children about saving money, one of the very earliest, easiest, and probably most important things a parent can do is to provide an opportunity for the child to start saving money right in their own room, with their own piggy bank.

A child’s piggy bank provides a real world example that families can talk about and reference, when a parent decides it’s time to introduce and discuss more advanced savings or financial concepts. Parents might explain ‘…its like your piggy bank, remember how you have been saving your money in your room…?’

TAG Toys Wooden Bear Bank

Wooden Bear Bank from TAG Toys

We (TAGToys.com) think our collection of Wooden Animal Banks are a perfect start for this job. Our high-quality personal banks help children gain insight into money and help parents teach the concept of saving.  The line of TAG Toys Wooden Animal Banks for homes and classrooms, come in six animal shapes, including a cat, bear, dinosaur, elephant, snail, and of course a Piggy Bank, from TAGToys.com

TAG Toys Wooden Cat Bank

Wooden Cat Bank from TAG Toys

TAG Toys is an environmentally friendly family business, proud to be hand crafting wood Toys from sustainable sources in the USA including baby safe toys, wood toys for toddlers, and early learning toys for kids. Visit www.TAGToys.com


Wooden Toys and Tech Addicted Kids

October 23, 2012

We are asked: “Is there any way to avoid raising technology dependent kids?”

As old fashion as it sounds, providing children from a very early age (infant, baby, toddlers) with real, classic thinking and learning toys (like those from TAG Toys http://www.tagtoys.com) is clinically shown to promote brain/mental development, in addition to helping youngsters develop physical & motor skills, and social behavior.

TAG Toys Elephant Push Toy

Elephant Push Toy from TAG Toys

Although kids are clearly attracted to phones, tablets and televisions, the solution you are seeking, really might be as simple as providing children with a wide range of non-technology alternatives (real toys) that they can see and grab to play with. This solution is also supported by decades of research on how to best foster thinking, intellectual and physical growth through interaction with real physical playtime objects during formative childhood years.

TAG Toys proudly handcrafts its toys in the USA including baby block toys, educational infant toys, and spelling toys for kids. Visit www.TAGToys.com


%d bloggers like this: