Holiday Gift Idea for Autistic Children

Autism and spectrum kids are affected a bit differently by their disorders, so coming up with holiday gift ideas is a tricky task. There are a few things you should know about the child before you start your holiday shopping. Consider the areas of development they have the most trouble with. Is the child non-verbal or sensitive to touch?

As with any child, find out what he or she enjoys. Autistic and spectrum kids often have favorite cartoon characters, favorite toys, or favorite games, and you should keep those in mind while shopping for them. You should also be mindful when thinking about educational holiday gift ideas for an autistic or spectrum child that their age group or grade level may be lower or even significantly lower than other children in their age group or grade. If you are unsure what is appropriate for a specific child, look at the toys they play with regularly, and donít be afraid to ask for advice from parents or even teachers and aides. Make a list of the childís needs to have on hand while shopping, as many stores associates can be very helpful in this area.

Flash cards can be incredibly helpful in boosting verbal skills and social interaction. There are many different types of flash cards, so itís easy to find a set that the child doesnít already have. Some flash card gift ideas include those that feature pictures of faces, emotions, and opposites.

Sensory toys are always fun holiday gift ideas. Porcupine balls, Koosh-type balls, exercise balls, and gel-filled medicine balls encourage physical activity, emotional release, and tactile interaction with the gift. Other sensory gift ideas for an autistic child include dry-erase boards, play dough, foam scooters, and rubber exercise bands or physical therapy bands.

Weighted vests, blankets, and lap pads can also be a beneficial holiday gift idea for autistic children. This is one option you may need to discuss with the childís parents. They can be somewhat expensive, so giving one as a holiday gift to a family dealing with all the expenses associated with raising special needs children would be wonderful.