This is a contributed post and therefore doesn’t necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author.
Buying gifts for children can be difficult. Thankfully, when it’s your own kids’ birthdays, at least you will have a better idea of the kinds of things they are into and will love to unwrap. When it comes to other people’s children, though, it can be a tougher choice. However, when a child is autistic and you don’t have any experience of living with an autistic individual, you might be completely stuck and may have no clue as to what to buy them. Well, it doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a few different gift guides for children with autism if you search hard enough. Here’s mine for starters.
A Sensory Gift
One of the main features of autism is a problem processing sensory information. As a result, children who suffer from this condition often love gifts that are sensory and will engage their senses. So, for instance, you might want to buy them something from the electronics section of a store if it lights up and is very bright and colorful. Some children might benefit from things that smell great and will ignite their sense of smell. Other autistic children might have proprioceptive seeking tendencies. That means that they love to jump around and stomp their feet. These kids will love items that encourage them to do this, such as trampolines. Once you know which sensory is best for the child in question, you will have a much better idea of what you should get them.
A Gift That Promotes Social Skills
Another feature of autism is that it can impair a child’s social skills. Thankfully, though, social skills are something that anyone can learn, even those who suffer from health conditions that may deliberate them. Quite a few games manufacturers and children’s toy producers now understand that there is a big market for games and toys that encourage social skills, so I’m sure you will be able to find a gift that helps promote these skills. Some books are also great at enhancing social skills too, so it could be worth asking in your local bookshop for recommendations.
Something That Can Calm Them
Other gifts that will go down well with children with autism are things that can calm them down easily. One great example is a weighted gift, such as a weighted blanket or vest. These can be very calming for children, especially those with autism, and will help soothe them if they are ever in any distress. Just bear in mind that weighted items tend to be slightly expensive. However, you can be happy knowing that they have a very long lifespan so the child will be able to use them for years to come. Other ideas for calming gifts include sand panels and a vibrating pillow.
There are also places that carry apparel to help them express their pride in being Autistic.
…and for the parents, there’s the always amazing Autism Parenting Magazine.
As you can see then, there are plenty of gifts that you could buy for the autistic child in your life. Their health condition shouldn’t hold you back when it comes to giving gifts and presents!