15 Mom-Approved Gifts for Kids With Autism


It's that time of year again, when many of us are trying to come up with the perfect gift to buy for the child with autism on our holiday shopping list. So what are other moms' can't-fail tips for buying something that will be a total hit? We found some moms of kids on the spectrum and asked them for a little help to make all of our shopping a little easier this year. Check out some of the great ideas we've come across!

Carol Greenburg knows the holiday shopping struggle all too well. Greenburg is editor of The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism and mom of a 10-year-old with autism. She's also East Coast regional director of the Autism Women's Network, and she is often asked what the perfect gift for an autistic child might be.

"I don't know what the perfect gift for any autistic child is," she says with a laugh. "What's the perfect gift for any neuro-typical child?"

Like shopping for any other kid, moms want to get autistic children something they will enjoy, Greenburg says, not some one-size-fits-all present. The challenge is in balancing the need to provide them with gifts that help them build their skills with gifts that they will really like.

"Moms need to think about what they want to work on, but also what will be the most fun, the most enticing," she says.

When in doubt, the special-needs advocate suggests, play to their interests. "Autistic kids, and autistic people in general, tend to have special interests -- what some people call obsessions. The way to an autistic child's heart, the way to connect with an autistic child is to follow their interests! Don't be afraid to be giving into an obsession!"

Remember to consider the child first, Greenburg adds, not what age recommendation is on the toy box, but what the child is actually interested in and developmentally able to do at this moment in time.

Still looking for some great ideas? Greenburg and several other moms of kids on the spectrum gave a few ideas of what has worked with their kids!

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