Christmas Gift Ideas for Children with Autism

Seeing the look on your child’s face as they open their presents on Christmas morning is a wonderful experience.

 If your child happens to fall on the autism spectrum or struggles with sensory processing issues, your experiences may look a little bit different.

Loud musical toys, lights that are too bright, and clothing with scratchy tags and seams can mean the end of your peaceful Christmas morning.

Here’s a look as some great gift ideas for your child with autism.

1. Kinetic Sand

Your child will love squishing the sand between their fingers and marvel at how it moves on its own! This sensory toy develops a child’s fine motor skills as they work with the sand that contains non-toxic polymer, the magic ingredient that helps the sand continually move like a dense fluid. The tactile stimulation is also calming and relaxing.

2.  Electronic Pet Dog

Some sounds are very aversive to those with autism. One study showed how sounds from home appliances and animal sounds from musical toys helped desensitize children with ASD who had hypersensitivities to sound. There are studies currently being done on the effects of interactive robot toys for children with autism.

This electronic pet dog, Harry, responds to your child’s touch, making this toy a great tactile and social interactive toy. It also helps with auditory processing because your child will have to listen in order to respond to the dog’s cues.

3.  Orbeez Squishy Bead Balls

Squish, Squeeze, and Play with these Squeezables! Choose from an assortment of bright colors these palm-sized Orbeez Squeezables are made for hours of squeezing good fun for that sensory seeker.

4. The Laser Stars Projector

When your child turns the laser stars on at night, they’ll lay back in bed and watch as a gorgeous galaxy of stars lights up their ceiling with the occasional shooting star flying by. With both holographic and laser technology, this light show is one that your child will never get tired of.

5. Light Up Tornado Lamp

This novelty tornado lamp has three coloured light bulbs that illuminate one after the other and as their light mixes together they produce a whole unique spectrum of coloured light.

While the lights change, the tornado spins silently and hypnotically. The small propeller is very quiet and will not disrupt the quiet environment of any room.

6. Sequin Pillows

These pillows have a very calming effect on those with ASD and ADHD. They help relieve anxiety and stress while offer visual stimulation as well.

7. My Feelings Game

Recognizing and understanding feelings can be overwhelming for a young child. Many experts agree that the best way for children to explore their feelings is by learning through play.

This game offers a fun and relaxing setting for your child to discover and share what makes him or her experience seven common feelings, and learn how to deal with them in socially-appropriate ways.

8.  Finger Paint Sensations Kit

Complete with ten tactile textures to add to the colors, the finger paint sensations kit is a great way to have fun while exploring new textures and creating art.

9. Spot It!

Spot it! is a fantastically fun game that helps develop social, visual and language skills all at once.

With multiple ways to play this game, you’ll never get bored, no matter how many times you play. All games require matching of the singular items on each card that are the same.

10. Trampoline

Get a jump on muscle development, coordination, sensory processing, and fun!  Trampolines provides the ideal low-impact cardiovascular workout, while helping kids develop balance and muscle strength in the most fun way.

Jumping stimulates proprioceptive input, balance, coordination, muscle strengthening and sensory regulation. It also provides an active outlet for sensory seekers and children with autism and hyperactivity

Author, Hasan Zafer Elcik

Zafer Elcik blogs at Otsimo, and creating educational games for his brother and the other children with autism.