As an autistic child grows, he or she will often want to be more independent. One way to encourage that is to give them an old phone (one that you don’t need anymore) and let them use it to take photos and videos. This will help them practice using technology while having fun making memories.
Included here are some suggestions for gifts for your special needs child. These suggestions can apply to the holidays, birthdays, “just because,” and many other occasions. These gifts are meant to help your child’s or teen’s development, and will surely bring a smile to their face.
To be honest, the best gifts for a special needs child are the ones that won’t make them feel different. That means avoiding toys that promote gender stereotypes, toys that can only be used for a short time, or toys that are too difficult for them to use. Instead, look for something fun and easy.
A few things to consider:
- Toys that encourage movement, like balls or jump ropes
- What are the child’s diagnoses?
- How old is the child?
- Safety first! Make sure that there are no small parts that could be swallowed or otherwise become a choking hazard. You also want to make sure that the toy can’t break or splinter into pieces that could hurt the child.
- Do you have any interests that you think may be helpful in our research?
- What are the child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- If you’re buying something electronic, make sure it’s not too loud. Children with autism often have trouble with sounds that others don’t mind as much, so you want to make sure you’re not aggravating them by buying an item that’s too loud.
- Duration is key. It’s important to buy toys and gifts that will last more than just a few days. This is especially true for children with autism, whose interests can change from day to day, and so they may not play with a short-term toy for long.
- Keep instructions simple! If there are instructions included in the box, make sure they’re straightforward and clear—and if there are any words involved in the instructions, make sure they’re written at an easy-to-read level (such as a third grade reading level).
- Toys with lights and sound, like toy pianos
- Toys that let kids do what they love, like craft kits or animal figurines
When you’re shopping for a child who has a disability, you may have to think outside the box. You might want to go for something that’s both fun and therapeutic. Or maybe you’re looking for something that will enhance their social skills or help them learn better.
As a parent, we know you want the best for your child. When it comes to special needs children, this is especially true. You want to be able to give them the same opportunities that everyone else has, but you also want them to be able to feel like they are just like every other kid.
Luckily, there are many toys and games out there that can help with this goal.
Here are some of our favorites:
These blocks can be used to build anything your child wants, which means they will never get bored with them! They also come in different shapes and sizes so your little one can have fun building something new each time he/she plays with these blocks.
Puzzles are great because they can be used by anyone regardless of age or ability level. They challenge both cognitive function and fine motor skills while helping kids learn problem solving skills at an early age. Plus, if you’re looking for educational toys then these are perfect!
A trampoline is a great way for kids to burn off energy while having fun at the same time! Plus, it gives them an outlet for their pent up emotions.