The holidays are such a magical time of year! Most people enjoy spending time with families, hearing the Christmas music playing in the stores and the general happiness and positive energy people are tossing around like confetti.
For some parents the holidays can be a bit more of a challenge and not because of our grinch attitudes or dislike of the season. The holidays are different for some parents because the holidays are different for our kids. As a mother of three beautiful kids, a girl and two boys (both boys have disabilities) I know how unusual it can be to help your kids enjoy the season as much as others.
Our oldest boy has ADHD and struggles to complete tasks or enjoy quiet, calm activities like others his age. Our youngest has Asperger’s which makes it a struggle for him to enjoy the wide range of emotions so many kids express this time of year. The holidays are not always easy for them simply because they experience things differently and don’t enjoy the same activities.
That being said, we always strive to create a magical holiday for them and embrace their differences. We have to buy gifts that are a bit out of the ordinary sometimes and it can be hard to decide on what to buy each year. We have learned over the years what works for us and I feel many of these options may help others get ideas and help them decide on gifts for those with disabilities.
For children with ADHD:
● Blankets (we love this ultra soft blanket)
● E Reader or Audiobooks (reading can be tough for these kids a Kindle is a great tool to encourage more)
● Galaxy Lights for their rooms (this galaxy light is so cool)
● Movies or movie passes
● Headphones (these JBL headphones are easy to keep track of)
● Bean bag, hammock, or rocking chair (this hammock chair is so cool)
● Fidgets (a bulk pack of fidgets is a great deal)
● Lego or model sets (check out this Camaro model kit)
● Sports equipment or pool pass (an MVP football will make them feel extra special)
● Clothing and shoes
● Gift cards
Many kids with ADHD have a hard time focusing and completing tasks, sitting still, and listening or paying attention. We have noticed over the years that our son prefers to listen on his own terms, sit in seats that move, build things; but not for long, and cares about his appearance but has a picky fashion sense. These gifts have made their way to his heart and has confirmed his approval of the items on this list.
Now for kids on the Spectrum:
● Weighted or fluffy blankets (this weighted blanket comes in very cute styles)
● Swings or hammocks (this snuggle swing is perfect)
● Squishy, slimey, or stretchy fidgets or toys
● Music Player (this affordable version of an MP3 player is perfect for kids that lose items often)
● Items they can call their own (our son does not like to share)
● LED lights or galaxy lamps for their room
● Remote Control vehicles (Grave Digger is a fan favorite)
● Personalized items (labels, photo products, embroidered pieces)
● Movies or games (home is their safe or favorite space)
● Their favorite snacks or treats
Many kids on the spectrum have a tough time being in crowds, sharing, or showing certain emotions. Our son loves things that are just for him, he enjoys his room but doesn’t want anyone else touching his stuff. Lots of kids on the spectrum can be sensitive to sensory items like fuzzy blankets, slime, or anything sticky. Some kids love each different feeling and others cannot stand them.
Every child has their own way of expressing themselves and growing. It is such a joy to be able to learn through these unique individuals and see how truly different they all are. We want to encourage them to grow in their own way, be their own person and fuel the strengths and qualities they have shown us over the years. Having a disability doesn’t make the holidays harder, it just makes them different for each family.
Hopefully these gift ideas will help you in the process of selecting the perfect gift for your child with disabilities!
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