Autism parents have the difficult task of finding the right toy for their child. I struggled with buying gifts for Sydney when she was younger. I was caught up on age appropriate toys but lost sight of what she wanted. Many of her toys were still in boxes and I would re-gift them to her when she was developmentally ready for them.
I remember buying her The Leap Pad Tablet. She tossed it to the side and asked for my laptop. It wasn’t until two years later. That she truly used and enjoyed that toy. This year she asked for a lute. I thought she was talking about pirates and the loot. It wasn’t until she showed me on her iPad which lute she wanted. The lute is a beautiful and expensive instrument. I am not sure where she discovered the lute. I think there is a brief moment in Brave that Merida plays the lute. I found a plastic pink lute on Amazon for $15.99 but it won’t arrive until after Christmas. I’m still deciding if I will order it since I have no clue on how to play the lute.
Here are some gift suggestions if you are buying a gift for a child with autism during the holiday season.
Ten Gift Ideas For Children With Autism
- Sensory Kit: stress balls, bubbles, pin wheel, noise canceling headphones and play dough are few ideas to help with sensory needs. A big exercise ball or a small trampoline, hammock or swing would be a great idea also.
- Puzzles: Puzzles with knobs, and large pieces work best at first. Be sure not to pick a puzzle that has too many pieces that may cause frustration. Puzzles are great for tactile learning.
- Gift cards: For favorite restaurants, iTunes or Amazon. This will give the child choice which is very important.
- Educational DVDs and toys: Music, alphabet, numbers are all great ideas.
- Books: Think about your favorite books as a kid. Even if the child is not able to read, being read to is an awesome experience.
- Board Games: Candyland, Hedbandz, Operation any game that requires taking turns and initiating conversation.
- Legos: All kids love Legos. Again be mindful of the amount of pieces and level of difficulty. These toys are meant to let the child be creative.
- Ipad– YouTube will probably be used the most. But ipads are great to add apps. Syd has the calm down counter app and other reading, music and math apps on her ipad.
- Play Date: This is a freebie. Parents would love to have another child come over and “play” with their child. It may look different from the traditional play date. And for the first time don’t make it longer than an hour. You always want to end on a high note.
- Love and acceptance: This is for those family members that might not understand the world of autism yet. They may think that the child is misbehaving and not realize how difficult going into sensory overload is. Have an open mind and know that the child is doing their best to process and understand the world around them.