Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gifts for Kids with Autism 2014

For years my boy just asked for a gift. 
That was the only clue, "a gift."
He's come a long way, and now sometimes
says, "I don't have the words."
This year he wants "a Christmas book,"
so - well, I'll wander over to Parnassus
Bookstore (I'm a huge fan of independent
bookstores) and turn the problem over
to them.

If you have a lead like "Christmas" or "Dinosaurs,"
you are in good shape. 
Sandra Boynton's Christmastime is an all time 
Christmas favorite.
Quirky animal characters combined with a gently
humorous analysis of all aspects of the holiday season
to provide a richly satisfying read. 
Boynton is even better known for board books,
For dinosaur demanders I recommend
The Big Fearon Book of Dinosaurs
Black and white line drawings illustrate brief
descriptions of dinosaurs. Activities include
coloring pages and sequencing. Elementary level.
World of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Life
by Dougal Dixon.
Full color pictures and easy to understand layout
(name, description on left, picture in center, fact
file column on right) make this a winner for almost
any age, though those who have memorized the
prehistoric era will likely find nothing new.
For the youngest dinosaur lovers, head 
back to Boynton with Oh My, Oh My, Oh
If you don't have a lead, you might want to 
look through some of my past entries here. I also
like Chinaberry for its wonderful descriptions.
If you want toys as well as books, I like Hearthsong -
I just ordered my boy his second perplexus maze since
he adored his first one until his brother threw it across
the room one too many times.
Large toys that create small enclosed spaces are often
popular with our sensory seeking kids -
Please add your gift suggestions! Comments welcome.
And Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas, Serene Kwanzaa,
Peaceful Winter Solstice - however you celebrate this time
of year, may you find peace and happiness with your
(Fellow Boynton fans should click on Christmastime
You're welcome. Yes, I do accept chocolate.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thoughts on Gifts for Children with Autism

At this time of year, our thoughts turn to 
how to delight our kids on whichever holiday 
we give gifts.
If your kid has autism, this may be a
challenging and even a sad task.
Maybe your kid doesn't talk. 
Maybe your kid doesn't understand
the whole gift thing. 
You may look at other busy shoppers
clutching their mile long lists and feel
But I'm here to say you have a good
shot at making the kid you love happy.
You've got this one. You really do.
Throw out the "Best of Lists" and the
"Hot Toys" recommendations and think
about when you see smiles, when
you hear giggles, and when your kid's 
heart is happy. 
If your kid does Occupational, Physical,
or Speech Therapy, there may be a
ready made list of stuff your kid 
would just love to find at home.
Your kid has their own interests -
and there may be a toy that fits
with that, but you don't have to
limit yourself to traditional toys.
If what your kid would really like
is a big squishy beanbag or papasan
chair, don't worry that it's not a toy. 
Your kid may play with it for hours.
One gift like a swing or hugglepod or
bodysock or mini trampoline is
better than a dozen of the latest popular
plastic plaything - I think for all kids,
but particularly for those who haven't
asked for the Toys R Us profit makers,
and won't be disappointed not to get
And books make great gifts too!
Here's the ones I gave my boy last year,
and here are two print gift suggestions.
I will get around to posting some book
gift ideas, I promise - just as soon as I buy
some gifts for my boys.
Have a great gift idea? Please share!