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How to Choose Christmas Gifts for Children with Autism


Choosing the right kind of gift for a child diagnosed with a condition in the autism spectrum of disorders can be a challenging task. While you want to get something that the young person will like, you don’t want to get something that will precipitate a bout of rocking, spinning or even an attempt at self-harm is serious conditions. Yes, there are external factors that can negatively affect anyone suffering from autism so you want to choose a gift that will soothe rather than excite the child. Here are a few suggestions based on what psychologists, psychiatrists, paediatric neurologists, or developmental paediatricians have found to be ideal for an autistic child.

What Not to Give

One thing many people aren’t aware of is that children suffering from autism have what is called sensory intolerance. Therefore, any kind of toy or gadget with a flickering light can prove harmful to the child. Particularly, stay away from any kind of item that has flashing or fluorescent lights. These types of toys and technology are too numerous to list, so perhaps it’s best to avoid giving anything that lights up.

Gifts That Soothe

In the mid part of the last century, music therapy became one of the most widespread and beneficial treatments for anyone suffering from autism spectrum disorders. It’s all about the way in which the brain is wired. Autism disorders are the result of left-brain activity and music is fully right brain. Why not choose a musical instrument you can find at online music shops like where you can give the gift of lessons as well?

Consider Their Developmental Stage

It is important to also consider the child’s developmental stage. Some autistic children are developmentally delayed and so you would not want to gift them something they will be unable to use. Here again, giving a gift beyond their capabilities could set of another episode. On the other end of the intellectual spectrum,you will find that there are autistic people who are actually considered to be geniuses. Among these are Sir Isaac Newton and Lewis CarrollGeniuses displaying autistic characteristics may be socially delayed but they would require a gift suitable for their developmental stage. Just remember to avoid anything that excites while choosing something that is calming, but something in which they have shown an interest.

Do a Little Reading

If the young person is someone close to you for whom you will be buying gifts on other occasions, it might be nice to do a little reading on the subject of autismBear in mind that there is a spectrum of autism disorders, and each will manifest in different ways. The more you learn about this disorder, the better you will be able to find gifts that appeal to them without prompting an autistic episode. You might want to check out an autism resource website that will give you other gift ideas as well as explaining some of the ways in which autism manifests and is treated. In the end, the more you understand the disorder, the better able you will be to find a suitable gift for Christmas or any other occasion.