BEST GIFT IDEAS FOR AUTISTIC PEOPLE
Is your son’s birthday coming up? Are you going to celebrate your wedding anniversary next week? Has your friend invited you to their son’s graduation party tomorrow? In important events such as these, there are only a few things that one must prioritize, and on top of that list is wrapping up a present. Since time immemorial, we give and receive gifts in festive and commemorative events to make the occasion extra special. However, not all presents are appreciated by the receiver, especially those that are below their expectations and standards, which makes planning what to wrap a very challenging task for everybody. Even in normal people, it is easy to get disappointed when you unwrap presents that are somewhat mediocre, very common, or uninteresting. How much more for autistic individuals whose interests, thought process, and emotional response are different from the normal? If you are to give a present to an autistic person, it is somehow natural to feel more pressured and anxious in thinking what item to choose. You’d easily feel unsure whether the autistic person is going to be happy or terribly disappointed with what you’ll give them, more so if you don’t really understand how autistic individuals think and behave.
Throughout the years, our awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder has led us to create programs and clinical procedures that are tailored to address the needs of autistic individuals. The same is true in the academic and community setting, where we continually aspire to create an environment that accommodates persons with autism. Even in the market, there are dozens of products and services that are specifically designed to be used by autistic people with needs. So if you’re looking for the best products to give as a present for an autistic person, do not immediately panic but instead, use your resourcefulness to find a solution. To give you a good start, we’ve listed several products on the market that can be given as gifts with a high chance of providing happiness and feeling of gratitude to autistic persons.
Lava Lamp and Bubble Lamp
These stylistic and colourful lamps can be the ideal present to give for autistic kids, teens, and even adults with sensory needs. Their brightness and colour are quite pleasing to the eyes, and the movements of particles inside the lamp can have a soothing effect on autistic individuals. What’s even better is that these lamps also come in different styles and shapes, from miniature rocket to glass wines. They can also be home-made, which could save you money instead of ordering one online or buying directly from a gift shop.
There are also versions that have blue-tooth enabled speakers installed on the base of the lamp. The autistic person can connect their mobile device to the speaker and easily play their choice of music.
Multi Alarm Clock and iPod Dock in One
A lot of autistic people also lack major executive functioning skills which are a set of skills that guide someone on how things are done. For instance, if the receiver of your gift is having difficulty in managing their time, it would be wise to give them a multi-alarm clock. They can set multiple alarms that would prompt them to do specific things, such as taking a shower or doing assignments, aside from the basic wake up call. These alarm clocks can also serve as a dock for iPod devices making it easy for the autistic person to remember where they put their device before going to sleep thus avoiding the unnecessary trouble of searching for it in the morning.
What’s nice about puzzles is that persons of all ages like to play them and persons with autism can get very excited to solve this type of toy. There are countless variations of puzzles in the market today that are different in terms of design, the level of difficulty and mechanics. In choosing a specific puzzle or set of puzzles to buy, it is very important that you read the specific age range indicated on the product. Puzzles with difficulty relatively higher compared to the age of the owner may simply become unsolvable and can cause frustration instead of generating happiness for the autistic person.
There are puzzles that are unique to the touch and sight, such as the wooden three-dimensional Rubik’s Cube, the three-dimensional money maze box, or the metal wire puzzle. It is up to you to decide which type of puzzle to buy, so asking for the receiver’s age and autism condition may be necessary.
Pinch Me Dough and Squeeze Reliever
These two types of toys are perfect for autistic people who are craving for more sensory input. The pinch me dough is a type of dough or putty that can be squeezed by the hands, thereby releasing anxiety and improving fine motor skills of autistic persons. Pinch Me Dough also has an aroma that soothes the senses and calms the nerves, making it an ideal gift for autistic persons.
The Squeeze Reliever, on the contrary, applies pressure into your hand when you put it inside the portable unit. The adjustable cushions will vibrate and massage the hand, giving the kind of sensory input that many autistic people need.
Customized Krazy Straws
This item is very effective for autistic kids who have trouble with eating or drinking. These straws can be personalized in the shape of certain objects or animals, and even names which can attract people with autism and stimulate their feeding habit.
Headphones are a big help for autistic people who are oversensitive to sound. It helps block irritating and distracting noise which affects focus and causes emotional disturbance. For autistic students, headphones can help them learn easier and faster by recording lectures and electronic resources and playing them in the headphone during their study time. Autistic individuals also prefer to listen to specific sounds or music to keep them calm in certain situations making headphones the must-have device.