Top holiday gifts and activities for children with autism
With autism affecting one in 88 children, more and more families are facing the question of what presents to buy, what holiday activities to plan, and in general—how do I successfully navigate through the holidays when I have a child on the autism spectrum who is often sensitive to over stimulation? MyAutismTeam, a social network specifically designed for parents of children with autism, asked its 32,000 parents/members their advice. Here’s what they shared:
Top gifts for children with autism
- iPad – there are some great apps you can download (ConversationBuilder, Proloquo2go, Look in My Eyes, First Words)
- Legos (multicolored)
- Sensory toys like plushies, sonic toys, etc.
- Gift cards from Amazon or iTunes to download apps, movies, etc.
- Video games (Xbox Kinect, Happy Action Theater, Dance Central)
Top holiday activities for children with autism
- Look at holiday lights
- Go to the movies
- Bake and cook together
- Arts & crafts
- Christmas tree shopping
Tips for successfully navigating through the holidays
- Practice – do a practice run of holidays moments i.e. gift giving and receiving
- Keep it small – avoid large or loud groups
- Comfortable surroundings – gradually decorate the home and have them help
- Keep it simple – avoid over-scheduling
- Create a food plan – if visiting others for dinner pack snacks and meals that are familiar to your child
Guest blogger Mary Ray is the co-founder of MyHealthTeams, a San Francisco-based company dedicated to creating social networks for people facing chronic health conditions in the U.S.