Thoughtful Gifts for Autistic Children
Choosing gifts for autistic children requires some extra thinking. First of all, to make a more educated decision on what kind of gifts are more appropriate for this group of children, we have to know what childhood autism is and how it affects their behavior.
Second, if you know someone who has a child who suffers from autism, it is also important to spread and teach autism to your circle of friends and families so that they too can give more appropriate gifts for the child.
What is Autism?
Autism is a severe developmental disorder that either begins at birth or within the first two and a half years of a child’s life. Most autistic children have a normal appearance, and indistinguishable from children who do not suffer from autism. However, autistic children show puzzling and worrying behaviors that are so much different from what normal children do.
Less severe cases of autism may be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, in which the child can speak normally but has social and behavioral problems common among autistic children.
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How does Autism affect the behavior of the child?
Autism affects the child’s behavior in three ways. First, the child suffers from social deficiencies. For instance, the child may not show interest in interactive games like hide and seek and tag.
In this case, the child prefers to play on his or her own. Second, the child may not be able to communicate verbally. For instance, if the child wants a toy, the child opts to lead the adult to the desired object by hand holding.
Lastly, the child shows bizarre and repetitive behaviors. For instance, the child can watch a clock tick or a fan spin for hours. Furthermore, the child tends to rock, spin, and flick his or her fingers continuously.
Ideas for gifts for Autistic children
Now that we have a brief understanding on what autism is and how it affects a child’s behavior, we can now make an educated decision on what appropriate gifts for autistic children should you give.
First of all, it is a better idea to get a gift that is widely available. If the child develops an attachment to the object, if it suddenly becomes misplaced or broken, it can be easily replaced.
Any break from the daily routine of the child will cause him or her to despair. If you give a very expensive toy that is very hard to find, the parents would find it hard to replace it if it gets broken or if it gets misplaced.
Therefore it pays to be a bit more considerate when choosing gifts for autistic children.
Furthermore, it’s also a good idea to give the autistic child a toy that appeals to the senses and motor skills. For example, a musical instrument, such as a piano or keyboard, can help develop the child’s auditory and visual senses and motor skills.
A portable game console can also help develop the same senses and skills. If the child tends to rock frequently, giving a rocking horse or swing set is also a very thoughtful gift. Giving kaleidoscopes also stimulates the child’s visual sense.
Thankfully, you can find a lot of toys that you can give as gifts for autistic children at any toy store. The key is to think of toys that appeal and can help with the child’s sense and skill development.
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