Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift Giving and Autism

Gift Ideas for Autistic Kids

One would think that after almost 9 years of making Autism's acquaintance, I would be better at this. Alas, the thrill is still there: What to get for Christmas and James' birthday (which lands about 2 weeks after Christmas)?

With autism in the mix, I need to blend several areas of information together and throw "normal" out the window. It's not such a bad thing.


There are the things that James likes: Caillou (still, heaven help me), Curious George, Thomas Train, Baby Einstein, Upside Down Show, spinny things, gears, music, Pixar.

James' abilities: He is young and playful for his age, has some fine motor skills strengths and challenges, processing delays, and a fickle attention span. His dream is to play games on a Playstation, iPad, iPhone of his own for hours at a time and play arcade games like speedboat racers. He hates flies and gets anxious with outdoor sports and staying with a group.

There are the typical gifts for almost 12 year-old: iPad, iPod touch, cell phone, computer/Xbox, clothes, science/art/magic kits, skate boards, bikes.

There are the fun classic kid presents: Lego, puzzles, solar-powered toys, build your own computer/robot, books, movies, sports gear, toy vehicles, yo-yos, kites.


Your kid + autism = unique for them gifts. Here are some Christmas presents ideas for 2016:
  • All 3 Toy Story movies in one DVD collection and Inside Out: letters to Santa and Social Communication therapy, thank you!
  • Maps from AAA: he has been carrying them all over lately, placing cities and travel routes; thank you, CSAA membership!
  • This nifty kids smart watch:
    VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX, Royal Blue (2nd Generation) (seriously, just read the features - I am jealous!). James will love the voice and picture filters!
  • This smart little DIY marble run: After a frustrating experience with the taller, bendy multi-piece ones, I am hoping for true multi-time use and enjoyment with the Kengadget Crazy Ball Marble Run Set

For a birthday:

  • music lessons (probably piano with a local family that teaches music out of their home)
  • another movie -- digital purchase because...
  • a Kindle Fire with a case
Your mileage may vary with a Kindle. I thought long and hard about it myself, as James has smashed some of his most favourite Apple electronics lately when in a temper and I will not replace them. The Apple IDs and iTunes are driving me nuts with their user unfriendliness.

The Kindle is not locked down very much, so I will let him use it on a limited time basis for good behaviour. It will be his. I am not getting the special kids' subscription or a warranty. I am making it very clear that he breaks it, no more Kindle. It was $33 on a Cyber Monday special with free shipping so the cost is not bad. He can use my Prime membership to watch movies and use his PBS Kids subscription, take videos and pictures, access digital books from our public library. I find it very easy to add apps and borrow/purchase/download media. Did I mention I got a really good deal on this?

There will always be clothes too, like nice big boy PJs, shirts, and pants. James is growing like a weed!

No comments: