10 Great Gift Ideas for Special Needs Kids

by ih-chi admin

Holiday gift-giving for children can be overwhelming to say the least. There are so many options, and no shortage of advertisements wooing them on TV, online, and everywhere else in between.

There are additional considerations in order too when choosing a gift for a child with a learning and developmental disorder, like autism, or ADHD.  Is it too loud or bright? Or difficult to handle and put together?

Here are ten great gift ideas to think about when shopping this year:

1. An experience. Give the gift of a cool experience, or outing. A trip to a movie, concert, museum, sporting event, or even tuition for a fun new class you think they’d like.

2. Something visual. Lava lamps have a warm, colorful glow that can have a relaxing effect.  Also “virtual” aquariums, or LED projectors that display clever images around the room are entertaining.

3. Fitness trackers. Most kids enjoy having specific goals to achieve. Helping them set a certain number of steps to get each day can encourage better focus and promote physical activity.

4. Popular books on audio or CD. For a child who struggles with reading, or lacks the focus, an audio version of a popular series could be very captivating.

5. Music or movie subscription services. Let your child pick special TV shows, movies, or music of interest to them that they can enjoy throughout the coming year.

6. Modeling clay, silly putty, or Play-Doh. Using hands to create something, instead of just to fidget, can be very satisfying for a child.

7. Noise cancelling headphones. If your child is sensitive to loud noises, or crowds, a comfy pair of cool headphones in a color or design they love might be a good investment.

8. Gift cards. A gift card to a favorite store allows them to foster independence by selecting something they like on their own while teaching them how to communicate when making a purchase.

9. A small pet. If your family is up for it, a small animal could be a welcome addition. Children with special needs often pride themselves on having special chores and responsibilities. Learning to care for a living creature (feed it on time and clean out its habitat) could be very rewarding.

10. Building toys. Things like plain old blocks, Tinker Toys, Legos, and even basic robotics sets are great for keeping hands busy and minds engaged.  The possibilities with these sets are endless, making them truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Check out these additional tips on gift-giving from one of our past blogs right here.

(Adapted from A Day in Our Shoes)