One of our parents asked me about how to figure out what to give to a three-year-old child who has autism, and know that it will be his favorite? I thought back to my years when Ryan was a preschool child. Right from the beginning, we always said: “Jesus received three gifts from the Magi,” so he would also get three gifts from Santa, as well. I would scour the catalogs, looking for those three great gifts. The first few years, I was excited to watch him open gifts that I was sure were perfect – only to find that he was definitely not as excited as I was!
I finally came to the realization that whether I spent $500 or $5, what was essential was to identify his likes and dislikes to help guide me in picking the “right” gifts, often not the “hot toy” of the season. Twenty years later, this still rings true as I thoughtfully consider what to get Ryan. I’m thinking about a ski pass, water world pass, and …???
My advice to this parent was that the key is to figure out what your child is interested in and use that as your guide to purchasing your gifts. Of course, there are also a few sites out there that provide recommendations for parents of children with autism. I’ve included the links to some below. Any other great ideas? I’d love to hear them! Happy Shopping!