This post includes ideas on gifts for autistic children. It includes both toys and gifts for children with autism. These gifts for autistic children have been preferred the most by parents.
Autistic children are just like any other child that you know. And like every other child, kids with autism love to play too. But when it comes to children with autism, people are usually confused about ideas on gifts for autistic children because they can’t quite figure out what they will enjoy the most.
Parents and guardians are often concerned about whether they are doing the right things or not for their autistic child. So to help parents with their confusion, we bring to you this guide where we will discuss how to decide gifts for autistic children, what they need and more related things.
Shall we get started then?
What are the best gifts for autistic children?
Before getting on the ideas for great gifts for autistic children, it is important to understand the cause and effect of the gifts on them. It is important to understand their special needs because the key to selecting great gifts for autistic children lies in understanding what makes the child unique.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or simply autism, is a developmental disorder that presents differently for each child diagnosed. So, there are many things to keep in mind while selecting gifts for autistic children, such as age, social skills, and cognitive level.
Doctors and psychologists say that toys for autistic children don’t have to be fancy or differently made; they need to be something that the child can enjoy and have fun with, which is developmentally appropriate.
What to look for while buying toys for children with autism?
Well, before you start picking up gifts for autistic children, here are a few tips to keep in mind, which will be very helpful rest assured.
1. Avoid buying over-stimulating toys
Toys such as the electronic ones with lots of lights and sounds. Most children within the autism spectrum tend to feel overstimulated by certain toys. So, it is necessary to pick toys according to the child’s sensory needs.
Such toys can cause meltdowns, or in the worst-case scenario, the child can focus on just the toy and ignore everything else behind. So, pick toys with the right sensory stimulation.
2. Look beyond age-grading
Toys or gifts for autistic children available in the market come with age-grading, so parents don’t have a hard time deciding what would be appropriate. However, sometimes it is better to think beyond ages.
It doesn’t matter if the grading says it is for toddlers, young children, or teens; if you find it suitable with your child’s developmental stage, you can buy it.
3. Look for “play it as you like” toys
Some toys help children with autism feel calm, as they can be played in many different ways. There are no wrong ways to play with it. Such toys are good for kids who have developmental inconsistencies.
Playing with such toys will not put much pressure on them, and they can make use of their abilities as they like.
What kind of toys or gifts for autistic children are best?
Today, the most common choice of gifts for autistic children is sensory toys. A child with autism might have sensory issues, and these issues ultimately affect how the child reacts or processes things around him.
Kids with autism might be affected either by hypersensitivity or hypo-sensitivity issues. And for such kids, sensory toys are of real help. These toys are soothing, helps them focus and stay relaxed from any external stimuli or scenario.
Overall, sensory toys help the kids develop social learning skills and use their senses in a free and fun way.
Well, now that you know how to decide on gifts for autistic children, let us check the list that we have put together of some of the best gifts for autistic children.
Best 11 Gifts For Autistic Children
1. Chew Toys
Chew toys are a common choice by adults for infants who are about to start teething. But did you know chew toys are also great gifts for autistic children?
Autistic children tend to have inappropriate chewing habits as a form of repetitive behavior, so sensory chew toys can work as a safer outlet for them. These toys provide both sensory stimulation and develop chewing skills.
Chew toys come in a variety of textures and are colorful, so kids enjoy them a lot. They are made of non-toxic silicone material, so they are completely safe as well.
2. Fidget Spinner
Fidget Spinners are very popular among kids, and in the last couple of years, there was a total craze over this toy. Fidget spinners as a gift are both great for autistic kids and kids suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD).
This toy help kids stay focused, and their hands are always occupied. The fast rotation of the spinner is fascinating for the kids too.
How do children with autism benefit from fidget toys?
The fidget toys are of great help for a kid with autism, as these toys provide the tactile sensory input that is highly needed for self-regulation.
3. Quality Time
One of the best gifts for autistic children is your attention and time. Sure, everyone loves gifts and toys, but what good is it if they have no one to play them with.
Every kid needs attention and time from their family, and especially kids with ASD. So, the gift of your quality time will be much enjoyed.
It is a simple, no-cost, and highly effective gift.
4. Slime, Sand, or Putty
One of the best sensory toys to play with alone or with friends is slime, sand, or putty. These substances are very colorful, which appeals to the child’s visual senses.
They are light weighted and can be carried anywhere. Kids can stretch it and mold it any way they like, which eventually helps develop fine motor skills.
This is one of those toys that fall under the “no-wrong-way to play” category, and such toys are the best.
Puzzles are among the top gifts for autistic children, as per parents. Parents with autistic kids have voted puzzles to be one of the favorite games of their kids.
Children tend to enjoy the bright-colored little pieces, and connecting them brings about a sense of joy and a satisfying tactile sensation. And as the puzzle pieces start forming a clear picture, kids find it very amusing and exciting.
6. Educational DVDs and Games
It has been noticed that children suffering from autism tend to respond more to visual things. They learn better visually because most of the time, they struggle to understand instructions given to them verbally in traditional school settings.
So by gifting them games and DVDs with educational materials will keep them both entertained and filled with knowledge.
There are popular brands that provide such games and DVDs to help kids with autism learn better. You may check out brands like Leap Pad or Leapster.
7. Stuffed Peaceful Pals
One of the most popular gifts for autistic children is the weighted stuffed peaceful pals. These are stuffed toys that come in various shapes and sizes of different animals such as monkeys, dogs, turtles, unicorns.
And not just animals you will find simple shapes too, like hearts, balls or stars. The kids love these little stuffed toys very much as they work like their “security blanket.” Kids carry these toys with them everywhere they go.
These toys give the impression of someone physically being there with the kids. Holding them close feels like a real hug from someone, so these toys help remain calm and reduce anxiety.
Various autism resources blogs have mentioned that parents have reported a positive response for these peaceful pals, and parents say that their kids sleep better with their pals’ lying next to them.
8. Children’s Books
Kids enjoy children’s books more than we think they would do. In fact, they tend to enjoy certain features more than other kids. The pictures, colors, texts, everything seems to excite them. And it is the same with kids with autism.
Books with rhymes, repetitions, and predictive patterns are loved by kids suffering from autism. Their ability to remember things comes as a surprise to many, and when parents read out from books to them, they easily remember the rhymes, patterns, and characters.
Books also help in speech and language.
One of the top gifts for autistic children, as voted by parents, is Legos. Legos are perfect for children on the autism spectrum because of their consistency.
While everything else in the world is unpredictable, building legos is somewhat predictable, as all the bricks fit into the same system. This offers a sense of control. In addition to that, legos give a fair chance to the kids to overcome challenges.
Using the lego bricks, kids can express themselves creatively. Moreover, in recent years legos have been considered educational tools to teach kids various skills like turn-taking, problem-solving, and sharing.
Note: Legos as toys and gifts for children with autism have many aided benefits, so it is one of the top choices.
10. Interactive Robot Toys
A child with autism might struggle with sounds around him. They might have sensitive issues concerning sounds. So, various studies have been conducted for those who struggle with noise to see what helps them desensitize & offer calming effects.
A study has shown that pet noises or sounds from toys somewhat help children desensitize. Interactive robot toys are best for this purpose. They are great for interaction as well as these toys get the child used to various sounds.
One of the best interactive toys would be an Electronic Pet Dog. The dog responds and reacts to a child’s touch, and that way, it helps develop social interaction skills.
Plus, it will give company to the kid and feel like a real presence.
11. Weighted Blankets
One of the best possible gifts for autistic children is weighted blankets. You must have heard about something called a “security blanket,” right? Weighted blankets work like that for children on the autism spectrum.
These blankets are best for those children who face sensory processing disorders. These disorders often cause anxiety, and during those times, weighted blankets offer a calming effect.
Weighted blankets work best when they are custom-made. This is because the weight of the blanket must be comfortable for the person who will be using it. How heavy the blanket should depend on how much weight the kid can handle by itself.
What are the best gifts and toys for autistic toddlers?
When it comes to toddlers on the autism spectrum, it might be more confusing for you as to what to get them. But do not worry, there isn’t much to get confused about.
You can gift almost the same toys that you would get for a child of other ages. Just skip the educational DVDs and puzzles; they are too young for that.
For toddlers, some of the best choices are the learn and play toys, sensory socks, toddler tote developmental toy pack, or sensory balls for babies.
Well, this is all that we have in this post about the best gifts for autistic children. After going through the post, I hope you have a clear idea of what gifts would be much appreciated by children with ASD. It is also important that you understand the child’s developmental stage while looking for any game or toy.
Not every child needs the same sort of gifts. Every child has a different set of abilities, and they are unique to them. Always think of gifts that will help the child creatively engage their senses and make them familiar with the natural environment.
Along with toys, games, and other stuff, the best thing you can do for these children is be patient with them. What they need most are your love and attention. Explore ways to express your love, care, and concern.
And when needed, always seek help from doctors and therapists. I really hope you had a good time reading this article and you now have enough ideas for gifts.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.