23 March 2018

Best Gifts for Children With Autism

Easter is on April Fool's Day this year.  I am so tempted to wrap grapes in chocolate wrappers or prank them somehow, but I don't think it will go over well. 

We focus more on the cross than the bunny for Easter, but Mr. Bunny still visits our house.  When the kids were really little, we told the Easter Bunny to give more gifts to kids who don't have a lot of toys because my kids are blessed with too many toys.  They get a basket with some fun spring and summer toys, but we don't go all out for Easter.  

Some kids with autism like to dye eggs, but some do not.  If your child doesn't wait to dye eggs, maybe he or she can help prepare them if they are old enough.  They could also use markers or stickers to decorate eggs.  Think outside the box so everyone has fun.  

I have a sensory seeker and a sensory avoider.  When they were little, I'd have one kid covered in egg dye from head to toe and one who didn't have a drop on him.  My daughter was somewhere in the middle of that.  

I'm creating this Easter gifts for children with autism guide for parents, grandparents, friends and family.  Keep in mind that children with autism often develop asynchronously.  They may play with some toys that are for older kids, yet they will play with other toys that are for younger children.  Caleb used to build elaborate tracks for Thomas that would go through two rooms and over obstacles when he was three-years-old, but he still played with Little People. 


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Bubbles are a great toy for toys, and my kids get them every year in their Easter baskets. Not only are they fun to case around, but they are a great tool for calming down.  Taking big breaths can help some kids calm down, so we would blow bubbles when we hit the yellow zone before we got to the red zone.  (Side note: I highly recommend Zones of Regulation to help with behaviors.)

I really like these Big Bubble Wand bubbles because they have a bigger handle to grip.  Some kids with autism have fine motor problems, but these are easy to hold.  


Jenga can be used in so many ways.  First of all, the child learns to take turns playing a game.  He or she also learns how to deal with frustration when the blocks fall.

My son's therapists also write on the blocks.  His ABA therapist writes questions so they can work on social skills.  His OT writes questions related to behaviors so it's more like a social story.  


These are awesome for any kid.  They learn how to build simple electrical designs to power different things.  By changing the circuits, they can change what happens.  All of my kids love Snap Circuits!


Spot It is a simple game that's great for visual perception.  Playing games like this help kids interpret what they are seeing.  This game can get tough, but there's a Spot It, Jr. for younger kids.  


Blokus is another visual perception game that's a lot of fun.  It only takes a few minutes to learn, and the whole family can play.  


Some kids with autism like deep pressure.  Caleb is definitely one of those kids.  He also likes hiding in places.  This inflatable pea pod gives pressure and gives him a place to chill out.  They have smaller sizes for younger kids too.  


If you have a chewer, try a chew necklace so he doesn't have to chew on his shirt.  They have fun designs for boys and girls.  


Marble Run is great for coordination and visual-spatial planning.  We have a set of these, and they get played with a lot.  


Sometimes we all need a quiet place.  Kids with autism need a quiet place to decompose when they are feeling stressed.  I love play tents for this because they are easy to move and can be taken down easily if needed.  


I keep one of these in my bag so we have it with us all the time.  Find It games are a great way for kids to relax and calm down when out of the house.  It's quiet, so it's great for church or when waiting.

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