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Christmas gifts for children with autism

Janelle Martel is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Healthline.com, Babygooroo.com, and TheBabyPost.com. She is currently working towards her B.A. in Psychology while living in British Columbia. Visit her on her...

Help to boost their skills

From SheKnows Canada
Shopping for a Christmas gift for a child who is on the autism spectrum can seem overwhelming. Take a look at our top picks to help you choose a great gift.
Young child happy about Christmas gift | Sheknows.ca
Children with autism may have delays in particular areas, such as language and social skills. Try to shop with the child's developmental age in mind to choose a gift that is at the right level for them. Toys that work to improve social skills, language skills, coordination and fine motor skills can be helpful for children with autism. Choosing a toy that appeals to the senses, especially visual and tactile senses, will help engage children on the autism spectrum. Another option is to choose a calming toy, such as a weighted or vibrating object. Many children on the autism spectrum also have a special interest that can help you in choosing a gift that will appeal to them.

My First Lego Set

Lego set | Sheknows.ca

A classic set of Legos is a good gift option for a child with autism. The bright colours and tactile sensation of snapping the blocks together help to gain the child's interest. In addition, building with the blocks helps children to express their creativity. My First Lego Set, which has bigger blocks than traditional Lego, is suggested for autistic children who might have difficulty with fine motor skills. My First Lego Set is available in a variety of themes, such as construction site, fire station, zoo and train, so you can select a set that matches your child's interests. (amazon.com, $26)

Guess Who? game

Guess who game | Sheknows.ca

Guess Who? is a favourite game of many children, but for children with autism, this game has Markers | Sheknows.casome additional benefits. When playing this game, children examine faces and animals and work to determine the differences between them. This can help with social development. (amazon.com, $21)

Monkey balance board

Balance board | Sheknows.ca

The ALEX monkey balance board features a brightly coloured monkey. Like traditional balance boards, children stand on it and attempt to maintain their balance to avoid having the board fall to either side. For children with autism, this fun gift helps to promote balance and coordination. (amazon.com, $18)

Tranquil Turtle

Tranquil turtle | Sheknows.ca

Cloud b's Tranquil Turtle plays either a relaxing melody or the sound of ocean waves while its shell glows and projects an underwater effect onto the walls. This sensory toy can help calm children with autism and can also be used at night to help the child fall asleep. (amazon.com, $44)

Learn how to create a safe environment for a child with autism >>

Touch-and-feel puzzles

Touch and feel puzzle | Sheknows.ca

Melissa & Doug's touch-and-feel puzzles are basic puzzles with various textures on each piece. This produces an engaging tactile sensation for children with autism, while the puzzle itself helps promote fine-motor and problem-solving skills. The puzzles are available in a variety of themes, such as zoo, farm and vehicles. (amazon.com, $10)

Blunders game

Blunders game | Sheknows.ca

Blunders is a board game designed to promote social skills. It has players helping four different characters in different social situations. Players must act out social situations and answer multiple-choice and true-or-false questions. With this game, children learn about responsibility, telephone etiquette, showing respect, how a host and party guest should act, table manners and how to behave at school. (amazon.com, $19)

Vibrating egg

Vibrating egg | Sheknows.ca

A vibrating egg would make a great stocking stuffer! Many children with autism find vibration to be calming, and this small, egg-shaped toy does just that. Children can easily hold the egg, or it can be placed on a surface, and they can watch it move and jump around. (amazon.com, $9)

VTech KidiBeats drum set

Kids drumset | Sheknows.ca

For a child who loves music, VTech KidiBeats drum set is a great gift, as the sound and lights will be engaging to a child with autism. Children can also choose to follow the lights on the drum to learn about letters and numbers. This toy helps with coordination, cause and effect and learning about letters and numbers. And yes, parents, it has volume control! (amazon.com, $34)

Rainbow Vision
sand picture

Rainbow vision sand picture | Sheknows.ca

For children with autism, this Rainbow Vision sand picture can help soothe and relax them while providing sensory engagement, as they can turn the frame to create different 3-D pictures. (amazon.com, $90)

Get support from these 10 autism resources for parents >>

Learning Resources teaching cash register

Cash register | Sheknows.ca

The Learning Resources teaching cash register is appealing to children with autism because of its sounds and tactile buttons. This toy also provides a great opportunity to spark pretend play and help children learn about money and the procedures associated with shopping at a store. (amazon.com, $38)

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