My top 10 Holiday Gifts for the Autism Kid that you love. I did my best to be realistic too and not break the bank so many are affordable. Remember these are “beneficial” gifts for the child and not necessary a Star Wars / My Little Pony play set. For most kids on the spectrum, (at least mine) the normal toys don’t keep them occupied.
2′ x 3′ United States Floor Map Puzzle
Puzzles are important for autism for a number of reasons. They help reinforce cognitive function and are interactive. With guidance you get to educate and have them repeat words and phrases or informational tidbits about the specific states. We have a ton at Autism Dad’s house and the Panzon loves them. They never get old and you can get the other kids or friends involved too which works on social interaction. This one is huge and is a win-win all over.
20″ x 40″ Sensory Processing Sack
Our kids need some pressure and sense of space. No matter these can be a ton of fun. You get ont he floor or the bed and get interactive wit your kid. Peek-a-boo and fund with siblings and friends too. Provides deep pressure and resistance; calming sensory integration therapy. Plus this can be used as an award in ABA play time. Yes, you’ll likely have static electricity too but that is part of the fun have a mirror handy for them to see how they look!
Refurbished iPad 32 Gigabyte with Retina Display
Low and behold the saving grace of every autism home! The iPad is a great tool and reward product for your child. They get thrown, dropped, banged and recharged 6x a day on average. With all joking aside it is my experience to get a refurbished iPad because you’ll likely have the screen smashed in it’s lifetime (and I hope it’s a long one too!). You need at least a WiFi connection (forget the cell sim card) and a reasonable amount of space for apps. Yes, these can be very educational when used properly and not as a TV for your child.
iPad Foam Protective Case with Handle
Seriously you need this if you own an iPad. They are very rugged and the handle is convenient. Plus it folds back for table top viewing. It is constructed from impact-resistant polycarbonate and double-enforced with a shock absorbing silicone inner-sleeve. The Corners feature double-thick silicone for outstanding protection against drops and other impacts. There are a number of colors available and once dirty you can easily wash them with warm water. Your child will likely drop, throw or launch their iPad and you’ll want to extend it’s life as much as possible.
USB Power Bank Charging Battery Pack
I cannot stress this one enough. You are out away from home. Maybe you attempted to have a meal in a GF/CF/SF restaurant and the iPad or mobile battery goes dead. AHHHHH This cannot happen! You need a dual USB power bank to recharge on the go. They’ve come way down in price and should be a part of your arsenal anywhere you go. This particular battery bank detects how much power your device has and adjusts to maximize charging time. Life saver!
Swing Pod Nook Tent
We have one and the Panzon loves it as does his sisters. This should be a staple in any autism home and you’ll soon find your little person camping out in here for iPad time and swinging around. Great for a break and to help get the muscles some work in pushing around to get in, get out and swing it around. Good sensory input. Large hanging seat so you can relax your entire body – Provides superior strength while keeping your hammock in place – Safely supports up to 176Lbs for those bigger kids at home, like you dad!
Portable and Foldable Trampoline
Yes, they need exercise and to burn off some frustration and energy. We have two trampolines at home, one like this that is foldable and storable and another for the back yard (that has seen better days). This can handle kids up to 150 lbs and trampolines help promote active play in children and improve motor skills, confidence, coordination, sensory processing. Plus your ABA therapist will love it that you got one to use for breaks and play time.
Inflatable Pea Pods
Inflatable pea pods are perfect for chilling out and provides a ton of sensory input for your child. They are super easy to inflate or deflate giving you the ability to take it to other places as well. Pea pods are made of super strength vinyl and the super soft surface available in a number of colors. They are calming, help with defining spatial boundaries, or as an added support on suspended equipment like swings.
Gorilla Gym Indoor Swing and Climb
We’ve had success with this for climbing and swinging. Yes, you may need to give assistance but there are so many benefits to adding this and you only need a doorway! The Gorilla Gym is lightweight, safe, and portable yet can hold 300 pounds. Your kid will climb, swing, play all day in the comfort and safety of your home. It is simple and installs right in your doorway with: No drilling, no holes, no bolts, no marks on your walls or door frames–installs in seconds. Fits most standard doorways 25-36 inches.
Bouncy Ball Pit
Yes I am going here. I really fought this purchase but one therapist said it was great sensory therapy and he loves to jump so we did it and it was a huge win! This is great for inside or outside and two small kids can really have some fun in here. You’ll want to also get an additional 50-100 plastic balls but for the cost it’ll be worth it. The thick air-filled floor helps keep knees and elbows safe, and it’s easy for the little ones get in and out.