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Holiday Gifts for Autistic Children

Suggestions for Games and Toys that Help Children with Autism Improve Their Skills
Autistic children love to get gifts at Christmas just as any child. However, there are toys and games that particularly help them improve in their motor skills, as well as entertain. Here are some suggestions for Christmas gifts for that special autistic child on your holiday shopping list.
Memory Games - Christmas Gift for Autistic Child
Working with autistic children, development of memory skills can be very important. After lying down all the cards on a desk or table, children take turns lifting up two cards at a time, trying to find a match. It's not only fun, but it enhances their memory skills.
See & Spell - Christmas Gift for Autistic Child
Complete a puzzle to spell a word, while developing a sight-reading vocabulary or use the letters for stenciling. 64 colorful wooden letters fit into the 8 two-sided cutout boards to spell three- and four-letter words! All spelling and fine motor fun fits into one compact wooden storage case! The See & Spell is a great choice.
Sensory and Stimulation Toys - Christmas Gift for Autistic Child

Toys and games that stimulate, as well as appeal to the senses are especially needed for children with autism. A few good selections include...

  1. Small Tactile Balls- Any type of small ball is excellent for stimulating an autistic child. For $2.08 you can buy 2.75" "Massage Balls", which are great for improving eye coordination, as well as gross motor skills. They come in assorted bright colors and have hard centers with soft pointed projections.
  2. Therapy/Exercise Balls- Not only are exercise balls great for firming flabby bodies, but they also make excellent toys for autistic kids, when they need a break from their schoolwork. Only about five minutes of rolling around on the ball, and they're more relaxed and ready to work, again.
  3. Spatial Awareness Toys- These toys are great for physical and spatial exploration - either alone or in a group. The BodySox is a great way for children to expand your imagination within the BodySox's protective walls, dancing images of rolling rocks, hatching eggs, moving puzzle pieces, or birds of flight. Add some plastic balls to it to make a private ball pit.
Fine Motor Toys - Christmas Gift for Autistic Child
Theraputty is an exceptionally high-quality gift for autistic children as it helps them with their fine motor hand skills. Theraputty is an inexpensive toy that keeps a child content and occupied. It's also good as children learn to use the assorted tools that come with Theraputty, adding to their fine motor skills.
Whiteboards - Christmas Gift for Autistic Child
Working with autistic children, I found how much they enjoy writing and drawing on whiteboards. Whiteboards can be used from everything from art lessons in drawing to practicing spelling simple words, as well as sight-reading. In addition, be sure you to include some colorful dry erase markers, and an eraser.
Other Sensory Toys for Autistic Children
Here are some examples of toys that stimulate an autistic child, and enhance his (or her) senses.
  1. Mirrors
  2. Plamsa Ball
  3. Training Wheels
  4. Squeeze Toys
Toys for Stimulating Touch for Autistic Children
Because many autistic children are hypersensitive to touch, they love to play with their hands in sand and water. Toys such as "sensory-sand-water tables" and bathtub rubber duckies and boats are good choices for gifts. Tactile sensory toys stimulation provides propioceptive feedback, gross motor control, and muscle movements
These are just a few suggestions for gifts for that special autistic child on your holiday shopping list. For other ideas, check with a special education teacher who works with autistic children.

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