Great Holiday Gifts for Your Autistic Child(2019)

Well, it’s that time of year again. We all hit the malls looking for that perfect gift for our friends and family. For children that are on the autism spectrum, this time of year should be no different!! We need to make sure that just because our children may have developmental issues they too can enjoy a wonderful holiday season. Many therapies involve play as a medium so finding a toy that is fun and therapeutically useful is a double win.

Christmas Tree

Understand Your Child

Since autism affects every child differently, it’s extremely important to understand how external stimuli affect your child. Many children with ASD can be extremely sensitive to sounds and lights, but this can be in a positive and negative way. One child may find that flashing lights can set off an outburst while another may find it soothing. This is where understanding your child can help you choose the right educational toy. Autism therapy can and should be fun to engage the child as well as creating a comfortable learning environment. To this end, it is important to find an engaging way for your child to develop.

Great Gift Ideas for Autistic Child

Choosing the right gift for anyone can be difficult, but for an autistic child this might even be harder. Some parents may not even realize there are toys and games out there that can help their child. Autism knows no religion or faith, so every child can be affected. 

So let’s get started identifying what is available and might be something to put a smile on your little one’s face.

1. Swings

These encourage vestibular stimulation as well as sensory integration. This allows the benefit of therapy in the comfort of your own home. Try the Economy Log Swing. It features a sturdy core, making it safe to use for children and adults of all sizes. The vinyl covers can be wiped down, making cleanup quick and easy. For older children, the FlagHouse Circle Platform Swing is constructed from sturdy, durable wood. It features a wide base to accommodate a variety of users both big and small and can be used with multiple points of attachment.

Economy Log Swing FlagHouse Circle Platform Swing
Economy Log Swing FlagHouse Circle Platform Swing

2. Weighted Blankets

For children with Sensory Integration Disorders, the use of a weighted blanket can help reduce stress and anxiety. The Weighted Blanket is constructed from soft, plush blue material and provides a sense of security and calmness; just like one of mom’s hugs!! Taking the idea of the weighted blanket one step further, the Sommerfly Therapeutic Sleep Tight Weighted Blanket provides a calm, comfortable, restful night of sleep. The well-designed weighted blanket is suitable for anyone who weighs more than approximately 20 pounds who has difficulty sleeping.

Sommerfly Therapeutic Sleep Tight Weighted Blanket Weighted Blanket
Sommerfly Therapeutic Sleep Tight Weighted Blanket Weighted Blanket

3. Tunnels

Many therapists use tunnels to help develop gross motor skills. This helps children develop their coordination while playing and using their imagination. For instance, the Pacific Play Tents Institutional Tunnel gives toddlers and young children and entertaining toy to play with that build gross motor skills like balance and sensory perception. It’s like crawling through a blue colored caterpillar!! One great way to improve gross motor skills is the Somatron Multi-Sensory Crawl Space Tunnel. It facilitates tactile stimulation. Floors vibrate to music offering the body a stimulating experience as the user tunnels his/her way through this sensory station.

Pacific Play Tents Institutional Tunnel Somatron Multi-Sensory Crawl Space Tunnel
Pacific Play Tents Institutional Tunnel Somatron Multi-Sensory Crawl Space Tunnel

4. Tactile Equipment

For some children on the autism spectrum, tactile stimulation training can minimize outbursts. Try using the Colored Kinetic Sand is visually stimulating and provides a unique tactile experience for hands and feet add to the excitement. This richly colored sand is visually stimulating and provides a unique tactile experience for hands and feet. Another great option is the Discovery Tunnel Sensory Motor Developmental Toy works by just sliding the hand through the beaded curtain and experience auditory, visual and tactile stimulation. The white ball inside the tunnel lights up in many different soothing colors illuminating all the mirrors inside.

Colored Kinetic Sand Discovery Tunnel Sensory Motor Developmental Toy
Colored Kinetic Sand Discovery Tunnel Sensory Motor Developmental Toy

5. Weighted Animals

What child doesn’t like stuffed animals? These cute, cuddly creatures can help children with autism. The Weighted Animals wrap around the neck and shoulder area providing calming pressure. It can be put in the microwave or freezer for a warming or cooling effect.

Weighted Animals
Weighted Animals

6. Puzzles

Many children enjoy putting puzzles together. Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzle Box includes four wooden, 12 piece dinosaur jigsaw puzzles featuring a triceratops, an apatosaurus, a stegosaurus and a T-Rex, each stored in a separate compartment of a sturdy wooden box. The slide-on box lid doubles as a convenient puzzle board. One puzzle to help with fine motor skills is the Weplay Apple Links provides enjoyment through threading, stacking and building different structures with creativity. The activities enhance not only fine movement of hands and fingers but also hand-eye-brain coordination. By combining or sequencing Apples, Leaves, and Caterpillars children challenge and enhance finger dexterity and cognitive motor skills.

Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles In A Box Weplay Apple Links
Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles In A Box Weplay Apple Links

7. Musical Instruments

Music is a great way for your child not only to have fun but to provide auditory stimulation. The Band Jam Musical Instrument is a great musical toy which helps in multiple developmental ways. It is designed for use by individuals with severe physical or upper extremity disabilities. It has five percussion instruments in one base. Activating any of the photo buttons enables the user to play a tambourine, triangle, drum, cymbal or maraca while multicolored LEDs light up. For children who might become over stimulated by external auditory stimuli, the Califone Hearing Safe Hearing Protector Headphone has a noise reduction rating of 37 dB therefore blocking out external stimuli.

Band Jam Musical Instrument Califone Hearing Safe Hearing Protector Headphone
Band Jam Musical Instrument Califone Hearing Safe Hearing Protector Headphone

Making learning and therapy a fun experience is the key to helping your child overcome the challenges of autism. By knowing what triggers your child’s outbursts, you can find that special holiday gift that puts a smile on their face and can help them assimilate skills they need. On behalf of everybody at HPFY we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season no matter which holiday you celebrate!!

 

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