What gifts can I buy for an autistic child?
15 Nov 2020
by The Autism Service

As we head towards Christmas there will be Aunts and Uncles, Godmothers and Godfathers, Grandparents and more starting to look out for present ideas for the young people in their lives.

It can be such a hard task to find something suitable for a child, something they will enjoy and use and that a parent approves of (none of them ever want to see a drum kit or a recorder coming out of that wrapping!).

And it is another area where a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder can be a little more complicated.

What can I buy for a child with autism?

The first advice we would give is to chat to those close to the child and see if there is anything that they are really interested in, or if there is anything that you should avoid (it’s likely drums would be on the avoid list for more reasons than one!).

Children with autism can have many sensory issues which affect the toys and items they interact with, and presents that may be perfect for other children their age may not resonate with them.

And with many children with ASD it is also a good idea to think about the child’s developmental ability rather than their age.

We always say it - every child is different - but we thought we would share our….

Top five presents for children with autism:

  • Sensory gifts - from a furry toy to a lava lamp, gifts that allow the child to experience different sensory experiences often go down well.
  • A blanket - this can also be a sensory experience for them but many children feel safe and warm with their own blanket, especially a weighted one.
  • Gift cards - sometimes children with ASD like to choose their own gift - some find it difficult to understand why someone else would try and guess what they would like, it doesn’t make sense to them...
  • Fidget toy - there are lots of fidget toys on the market for all children and these can be a good gift for children with ASD who find it difficult to keep their hands still a lot of the time.
  • Books - Books that children with ASD can relate to and see themselves reflected in can be extremely effective in inspiring a love for books and reading.