Any ideas for Christmas presents for an autistic child?

Krystan - posted on 12/03/2009 ( 42 moms have responded )

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My son is six with PDD (mild autism), and he has got to be the hardest person to buy for. Does anyone have any ideas? Anything he really likes, I've already gotten for him. Loves cars, trucks, trains, oh and most definitely balls of all sorts. He also loves to dance.

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Samza - posted on 12/09/2009

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hi there, i had the same problem with my 5 year old who's got severe autism. All his favourite things like mobilo (cars,trucks, anything with wheels) he's already got so this Christmas i was stumped on what to get him. I was at a friends house and she had these kenexez and he was fascinated and actually sat (which is something he never does) for ages and was completely engaged in an activity which is a rarity in his world. i hope ya find a chrissy prezzy that rocks his world!!

Kim - posted on 12/07/2009

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You need to reinvent the wheel. Even though you have gotten all of the things he loves, as you know, children on the spectrum love consistency and repetition. Since he loves cars, trucks and trains-get him something he can assemble maybe-bring out the engineer in him. These things are STILL exciting to him, though they may be boring to you.

User - posted on 12/04/2009

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My son also was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and LOVES cars, trains and balls. He is 3 and I pretty much stuck to that. He already has tons of vehicles but I got him Geo-Trax trains this year which are supposed to be good for little hands, wooden blocks, DVD's and I also made him a sensory bucket. He gets overloaded easily and loves rice bins to help him relax. I just took a storage container he could fit in(about a 15 gallon tote worked) and filled it with beans, rice and noodles. It was inexpensive and he loves it(yes, I gave it to him already, lol). It was something I picked up from his OT and when ever he is feeling overwhelmed he asks for his bin and goes to town.

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Pamela - posted on 12/02/2012

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My Grandson has Autism,he is a teenager now. He loved art when he was little.Buy him art paper, to draw with and crayola crayons,etc.coloring books too.Take him to a toy store ,see what he goes to& arts and craft store,see if he likes anything there.He may like dvds of cartoons,disney movies.My Grandson loved cars,he really liked a robot with remote I got him for Christmas one year,he just jumped up and down waiting for his Dad to put the batteries in.Good luck and GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU !

Michelle - posted on 11/19/2012

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My lil boy is 7 and he absolutely LOVES his Leappad 2. You can buy an app card and when you plug his Leappad into the computer you can download games for a fraction of the price you would pay for the games in stores. Its an amazing device for kids of all ages. Just download apps that are age appropriate for you child.. whether it be for learning or playing there are so many things for your child to do with this device. It is especially good for any type of waiting situation (eating out, dr visits, etc). Ebay has lots of items for it as well. Also, he loves those bead mazes you see at dr's offices.. i just bought him one and it holds his attention span quite a bit as he goes from that to his trains... which he loves as well. I thought about maybe getting him a train table this year and a new bicycle. And since your child loves to dance too, I would definitely recommend WIGGLES... That is my lil man's all time favorite!!!! Hope that helps a bit!! :)

Tasha - posted on 12/09/2009

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my daughter is 7 and her thing is the giutar and she likes things that move and she loves play dough . we have gotten her finger paints and paper and a nintend ds and a wii for christmas this year we are getting things that help hand eye cordnation we cant do lights because she has sid i would get him anything that would help like puzzles and board games does he have one of thode rugs that looks like a town with roads my daughter loves hers . get him a remote controled car he would like that

J - posted on 12/08/2009

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You could try The Transporters DVD. I've just posted a coupon code (charlie45) on a different conversation that gives 10% off in December. If you want to know if he'd like it, watch an episode on the site - www.thetransporters.com.

Tabitha - posted on 12/07/2009

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fisherprice came out with a dance camera. you connect it to the television and children's music plays while they dance it shows them on the tv screen. my brother has autism and when we were growing up he loved categorizing, putting animals in a parade formation in "families" all cats together etc. jigsaw puzzles are good also. the wii might work well with your son because they have a lot of interactive games. good luck!

Joni - posted on 12/07/2009

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I feel your pain..my son has pdd as well and is very difficult to buy for. If your son likes to dance, i would suggest a music player..like a kids mp3 or something. also..if you can afford it..The Wii. its very interactive and good for their coordination.

Markelle - posted on 12/07/2009

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"A Course in Miracles" on audio cd. Play it while they are sleeping and see what happens.....

Krystan - posted on 12/07/2009

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Thanks everyone for the ideas! Everything was helpful, there were a few things he already has, but most importantly helpful!!! Thanks again!

Ava - posted on 12/07/2009

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My son plays with cars, trains, and loves textures that are NOT sticky. I want to get him one of those tables that can be filled with sand, water, etc He seems to enjoy playing with shaving cream, play dough. At the preschool he attends they make blue slime for the kids to manipulate and play with, they keep it in the same type of table I mentioned and it really has a calming affect on my son. I guess the table with some fun things to play in (i.e. sand, water anything you are comfortable with) could be a good one for an ASD child. It is an outdoor or play room (with plastic or tile floors) activity lol. Anyway hope that helps.

Jamie - posted on 12/06/2009

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Get him a LeapPad, my son LOVES his and it's a great "grow with me" toy!
It has cartiges for all interests/ages and is especially great for long car rides or to expand on their learning at school.
My son just turned 7 and has had the same Pad since he was 3or4. He's really interested in how his body works and loves his new Biology of the Human Body cartidge/book. My son is borderline Asperger's/PDD-NOS, as well as ADHD/ODD. Cars and trucks only hold his attention so long, but the Leap Pad stuff works well in our house.

Nicole - posted on 12/06/2009

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oh my gosh..HOT WHEEL TRACKS! You can't ever have enough hot wheel tracks. I think anything that shows cause and effect or that moves is a safe bet. Pop-up books are also loved around here. ( I have an 8 yr old with autism) Remote control cars. Bakugons. (sp?) Mine loves to dance too, last Xmas we bought him his own cd player and have been getting him cds. haha uh...he loves ad/dc and queen :)

Josie - posted on 12/06/2009

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My son is 4 on Dec 27 this year and he is high functioning autism and he loves to run and jump alot!We bought him a trampoline with a safty cage for $160 at Wal-Mart

Melony - posted on 12/06/2009

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GIve to him what he likes just as any child, I found items that incorperated things that would help but enjoyed. He loved balls- We got him a ball cage for him to jump in and play with them. This gave him a safe place to express his anger and burn off his energy. We actualy set it up right in our dining room, when he was toddler. Now we do taped story books, cars with tracks, painiting kits of cars and of coarse a train ride on amtrk to go see grandma.. they were wonderful..But most important enjoy him and love him.. austism is not! Don't treat or allow anyone else t either!

Bridgette - posted on 12/06/2009

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My son is almost 8 has autism and he is getting a Nintendo DS and a game for christmas. Its sort of selfish but it helps to occupy him and his sister when the other has a doctor appointment or we get the oil changed in the car. My boy could get the train museum for christmas and it wouldnt be enough trains

Alison - posted on 12/06/2009

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If he loves dancing try videos that have dance-alongs. I believe the Wiggles has a variety of these. You could also try a spin on the cars/trucks/trains and go into helipcopter toys or airplanes. If he loves trains, deos he have tracks? You can usually get Thomas stuff, including tracks, really cheap on eBay (I've made out like a bandit for my three girls!)

Jessica - posted on 12/05/2009

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well, given the fact that every child is different I think you have done good so far on getting him things that he is already familiar with. does he like being read to? My son has Asperger's and he likes books. He LOVES being read to. Over at Micheal's they have unfinished wooden toys like cars and trucks, those can be a good stocking stuffer AND it can keep him busy coloring/painting it. I just got one for my son and he LOVES showing it off. :) good Luck! :)

Amy - posted on 12/05/2009

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My 7 year old is really big into manipulatives, so we took a couple of pieces of felt, cut a hole in the center of one of them and replaced it with clear thick poly-vinyl. Sewed the two pieces together on three sides, filled it with flax seed and a bunch of little items (rings, tiny trucks, coins, etc. Attached a picture that had all of the items on it. It's a textural seek and find that he loves! Also, anything musical that you can handle (or if you can't, put some shipping tape over the speaker to mute the sound some) seems to be a good choice in general for those with PDD. He has also discoverd the Rubik's cube, so if your son isn't too oral and wouldn't take it apart and put the pieces in his mouth, that may be a good choice. I have also found that for those times when my son is overwhelmed, a deck of Uno cards is good. He gets to use his OCD tendencies by himself and sort the cards by number or color. May your season be filled with the joy that those of us with kids with PDD get to have!

Chris - posted on 12/05/2009

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My 7 1/2 year old son loves Bionicles. You can also buy the Bionicle dvd movie. I agree with Leapster, DS and transformers. Anything that can be taken apart and put back together. The only problem I have with Leapster is the age limitations, it really doesn't have much to offer the over 8's so it will have a limited life span, the DS however can satisfy kids of all ages (I'm getting one this year for myself!)

Petra - posted on 12/05/2009

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my son from almost 6 loves trains,so be want to buy a Thomas train toy,he also loves airplanes and he loves to play pool so he'll get a pooltable from his grandmum,it's better to take things they really like,even if it's a small toy,importent is that they are happy with it,good luck

Amanda - posted on 12/05/2009

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my son loves anything he can take apart and put back together again, he loves transformers as he can change them from one thing to another and back again easily, he will sit for ages doing this !

Melody - posted on 12/05/2009

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I agree with all the mom's who say, go with what he likes now. My daughters obsessions have changed over the years, and sometimes they only last a few months at a time, others for a year or two at a time, BUT, if she is given something that is not of interest to her, whether clothes, toys or books, It will NOT be used and I have given away many a toy, book and clothes that have never been worn or played with before I learned this!! Even this year,(she is 15) her list to santa said, DONT GET ME ANYTHING NOT ON THIS LIST and, she means it too....

Cheryl - posted on 12/05/2009

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Melissa & Doug toys are great. I find that my 4-year-old can play with them and not destroy them. They have toys for all ages. Great wooden toys.

Alison - posted on 12/04/2009

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My eldest son is 9 and he loves playing with balls and trains, he also loves watching things drop such as a marble run or a thomas race game. Recently he has shown an interest in the nintendo ds and is very good at playing mario kart.

Teresa - posted on 12/04/2009

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my niece is 7 and my nephew is 4, they both have autism.... Maybe try Leapfrog/Leap pad games. My niece loves those. She also loves coloring... if he likes to color get him some Color Wonder stuff. It is hard to shop for my nephew, except for stuffed animals. He loves those. He also loves small toys, to fit in his little hands. One for each hand. He likes to match everything up. I don't know if any of that was a help, but I say Color Wonder and LeapFrog.

Angie - posted on 12/03/2009

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My son is seven and when I shop for him I look for anything to help him with sensory skills. One of his favorite games is "What's in Ned's Head" This Christmas I am getting him a few games that allow him to feel and smell his way along the board. One is called "PU" and the other is titled something with Smell in it (I forget the name of it). I also got him a balance board too so that he can work on coordination.

Good Luck!

Lynda - posted on 12/03/2009

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Oh my 14 year old loves hand held games, dvd's, headsets... just got to keep close eye on the hand held games, when the behaviors are high he tends to break things, so thats when i call a "10" min break.

User - posted on 12/03/2009

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My son adores lego, but something he also loves is taking pictures. I have bought a child friendly, inexpensive ($30 on sale) Crayola digital camera that can be dropped, bumped, etc...He loves taking pictures and he will talk about the pictures he takes and he loves to "make" commercials. It is fun, but it is also a great tool to increase communication.

Merry Christmas

Sheila

Renee - posted on 12/03/2009

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When my son was that age (he also has mild autism) he loved Thomas, blocks both the wooden ones and the cardboard ones that are like the size of bricks and he would build with those. He also loves the Magna-Doodle he wore three of those things out over the 5 years he played with them. My son still has a low to the ground (like 10 inches off the ground) trampoline and it's around 4 feet across (round) he loves it. He loves to jump but if your son likes to swing, a swing mounted from the ceiling (properly of course) and a platform with an adjustable rope works great to relax child who love to swing. I've seen the plans online somewhere but I'm sure you can goodle it. My son loves moon sand too but it always turns like moldy or something even when we store it properly so I'm not sure what we are doing wrong with it. Playdoh too and lots of plastic cookie cutters. Playdoh was a texture issue for him but he got over it playing with it.

Ashley - posted on 12/03/2009

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We are getting our son puzzles and a hot wheel track. He loves to watch things move and such so we got hom the trick ones that can do all different stuff. Anyway, agreed with the others, just have to find his "thing"

Maura - posted on 12/03/2009

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Hi there

My son is 14 now, boy, did those anaphylactic food allergies make things tough in the early days......he used to love the texture of rice, you can color it, in a big tupperware bowl - for many years, he was ecstatic to receive a block of copier paper, now, his big thing is restaurant gift certificates. Once you know what gives your child the greatest enjoyment through interaction, go with that - good luck and wishing all a joyous festive season.....

Tiffany - posted on 12/03/2009

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I agree with Ashley...once you find his "thing" it will be pretty easy. My son is into "Hot Wheels" he's been into cars, trucks, trains..anything that moves, for years. He's eight and is getting into the Lego's now, but always goes back into his cars. We've watched the Transformers movies and he was into Bumble Bee, but since we watched the second one, he want's Devastator and Wheelie....Devastator is many Transformers in one and Wheelie was a RC Truck. (Again-All moving and driving items) He's also really good in math...Math wiz....can't wait til he's passed me in math and then asks for help and I have to send him to a college for help :-)

Good luck in your journey with you little guy and you'll find his "thing" soon (if you haven't already)

Shannon - posted on 12/03/2009

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If he is into textures, moon sand (I believe its called) it is fantastic and non-toxic I believe!! As well I know alot of the kids I work with enjoy swinging and there is a really cool swing (hangs from the ceiling) from Ikea (in the kids department) it is softer canvas and is domed and super cozy to sit in.
Or if he is into more sensory items, just go crazy on glow-in-the-dark items (stars, posters etc.) and cool coloured lights (in different shapes) and pillows (different textures and colours too) and decorate his room or play area. Hope these ideas help a bit. Have fun!!

Susan - posted on 12/03/2009

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My son is 5 and still into cars and video games.What dose he play with through the day?

Ashley - posted on 12/03/2009

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I have a three year old with autism. he is big on puzzles, lights, music. Does your son also like similar things i know it is common? Most children with autism have a "thing" once you find the thing that most interests them it is easy. We are buying ayden a big kitchen set you can find them at kmart for $35 right now. He likes to turn the knobs and open and shut the doors. They also have nesting blocks big cardboard box's that have numbers or letters on them you stack on top of eachother.

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