Holiday Gift Ideas 2021

Are you shopping for a loved one in the autism and/or intellectual disability community this holiday season? Our self-advocate and parent staff members put their heads together to make this list of gift ideas that might be just what you are looking for.

Gift ideas for kids in the autism community

1.      Wobble cushions or textured steps  – These textured toys are great for energetic sensory seekers who have a lot of energy

2.      Hammocks and Rockers – these toys are great for kids who are soothed with a rocking motion.

3.       Big block sets  - many children with an autism diagnosis enjoy stacking and organizing items by colour and shape, and big blocks are easy to clean.

4.      Kinect sand – this can be great for kids who are sensory seeking.

5.      Textured toys – These cool toys have different textures which are great for kids who are sensory seeking

6.      Weighted blankets and Noise Cancelling headsets: many neurodiverse kids have difficulty with sleep. These blankets can help regulate body temperatures and help improve sleep. Noise cancelling headsets are great for kids with sound sensitivities.

7.       Tents – Great for kids who want to feel safe in a space with lower visual stimulation
8.       Activity wristbands: these devices help monitor activity level and sleep. They can be a very useful tool for encouraging healthy life style activities and kids feel so grown up wearing them!


Gifts ideas for autistic adults

 1.       Burrito Blanket – Cozy, wrap-around blanket. Soft fabrics are what make this blanket so popular.

2.       Infinity Cube This cube is a great tool for those with busy hands.

3.       Light Strip Kit These kits completely change the feel of a room and can be placed just about anywhere in the room. Great for folks with light sensitivities.

4.       Bluetooth Hat with earphones These warm hats keep you motivated to with your own music. Great alternative for those who do not like in-ear or over-ear headphones

5.       Neck reading light This wearable light offers an alternative to typical reading lights where the shape and angle are adjustable to meet comfort levels. Great for folks with sensitivities to light.


Gifts ideas for parents or caregivers in the autism community

1.      Spa gift baskets:  so many caregivers forget to take time to care of themselves, spa kits can help motivate some self-care

2.      Streaming site gift cards: when their  ‘me time’ is scattered throughout the day, easy entertainment with the ability to pause is a must.

3.      Fun ways to unplug and connect: Books about hands-on activities to help children learn and explore through play. Here are some suggestions from the AIDE Canada Librarian.
·        Sensory activities for autism: fun learning games for autism and sensory disorders / Mary McPhee
·         Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Easy Projects to Develop Fine Motor Skills, Hand-Eye Coordination, and Early Measurement Concepts / Casey Patch
·         Thriving with autism : 90 activities to encourage your child's communication, engagement, and play / Katie Cook, MED, BCBA

4.      Books by autistic authors: insights that may help parents understand their kids better. Here are some suggestions from the AIDE Canada Librarian.
·         Funny, you don’t look autistic: a comedian’s guide to life on the spectrum / by Michael McCreary
·         Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew about Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity / by the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network
·         The obsessive joy of autism / by Julia Bascom

5.      Coffee cards: help caregivers take a break and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee

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