What gifts can I get for an older child with ASD?

Shopping for the older child with autism can be more challenging. When toys are no longer appealing, what other options are there? Here are 10 ideas to take the guesswork out of gift giving.

  1. Passes to Attractions – movies, museums, special attractions such as amusement parks, gyms, swimming pool, recreational facility – see what’s available in your city or town. Did you know that all Canadian National Parks and Historic Sites will be free for 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Parks Canada? Pick up a pass and put it inside a Christmas card.
  2. Tickets to a Concert or Sporting Event
  3. Calendars – either a wall calendar or page a day. There are so many different themes available. My daughter loves Grumpy Cat; my son loves horses.
  4. Favorite Movie on DVD
  5. Pyjamas or Clothes to Relax In – sweatpants, cozy sweatshirts, leggings, drawstring pants. I always recommend cotton if you aren’t sure about fabric tolerance as cotton seems to be liked by most people.
  6. Gift Cards – iTunes, favorite restaurant, department store
  7. Books – even if a person is not a good reader, beautifully photographed books on topics of interest can provide hours of enjoyment. Audio books can be a great choice too for struggling readers.
  8. Games–  these can be for a gaming system or a good old fashioned board game.
  9. Treats – everyone has something that they love to eat and often times, these favorites are available with Christmas themes or packaging. Make something from scratch and put it in a lovely tin.
  10. Spending Time – arrange to go on an outing that can create a memory. Skate on a lake, go to a Christmas movie, bake together, watch a Christmas light display, drive somewhere new.

These gift ideas work for birthdays and other special occasions too.

One thing I do to make Christmas a little bit more magical for my 17 year old daughter is I write her gift tags from cats the she follows on her favorite cat charity website. She never believed in Santa Claus, but she does believe in the power of these cats thinking of her at Christmas time. We also sponsor a cat every year from a foundation and follow its progress throughout the year. Making a donation in a child’s name for a cause they like or a site they enjoy visiting can be very meaningful.

Merry Christmas to you all and I wish everyone all the best in the New Year!

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