Are you a bit stressed about finding great gifts for the people you love on the spectrum this holiday season? While some kids with autism are quick to rattle off a wish list of toys, not everyone can express what kind of gift they would like.
What is a good gift for an autistic child?
The key when selecting gifts is to remember what makes your loved one unique. ASD is a complex neurobehavioral condition that can include differences in social interaction and developmental or communication skills as well as rigid, repetitive behaviors. It is a multifaceted disorder that presents differently for each child diagnosed. There are many considerations to keep in mind, including age, cognitive level, and skills when selecting gifts.
There is no need to search any further. Our team of experts has selected a variety of budget-friendly gift ideas to help you choose the best toys this season. But first, let’s review what kind of toys autistic children enjoy.
Some of the toys listed below include affiliate links. If you purchase gifts using a link, we will receive a commission which allows us to continue to provide expert guidance.
Gifts for autistic toddlers
Wiggly Giggler Rattle encourages gross motor development and provides stimulation. Young ones will have so much fun as they hone vital developmental skills. The colorful, child-friendly design is sure to entice young learners to play and explore.
This simple board book is fully illustrated with appealing, colorful pictures and written in an easy to understand way. It is sure to grab any young child’s attention to teach calming techniques effectively. It also includes tips for caregivers and parents.
Fill it up with water and watch as ocean toys float across a bright, friendly ocean. Kids on the autism spectrum will love to squish down on the top of the mat to move the water and the toys. This activity can help kids work on motor development, teach cause and effect, and more. It is highly effective for visual learners.
Kids will have tons of fun matching the shapes with their corresponding holes as they develop vital hand-eye coordination, spatial reasoning, and motor function. Each shape features a simple grooved texture to contrast with the cube’s smooth matte surface.
Presents for young kids
This colorful rain tube is simple to use and great for all ages. Perfect for highly visual students. Turn this sturdy 8-inch tube over and watch a cascade of multi-colored beads fall as you listen to the soothing sound of rain.
Stretch, mold, and pull the putty until you find all the hidden objects and then hide the pieces again! Strengthens fine motor skills and provides tactile exploration. Versatile therapy tool, fidget, and travel toy for imaginative play. Supports speech, color recognition, math and language activities.
These soft and colorful blocks help satisfy sensory and visual cravings. This building toy also helps develop a child’s spatial, logic, and reasoning skills.
Explore all four of these one-size-fits-all mitts and feel their textured surfaces. Includes mitts with sequins, faux fur, raised bumps, and a smooth surface. They’re great for creative play, touch exploration, and sensory integration.
$57.99 and up
With the super-supportive saddle and low-to-the-ground design, this scooter offers more security than a typical ride-on toy. Those with gravitational insecurity can scoot with confidence, in prone, kneeling, or sitting positions.
This system works well for those starting augmentative communication, yet it has the power to provide lots of communication opportunities and options. The sturdy design makes it a good option for all ages. An excellent option for people on the go.
$135.99 and up
Designed by an occupational therapist, the SleepTight sewn with a curved neck cut out at the top, allowing it to contour over the shoulders and under the chin without bunching up around the neck. Adult sizes are available. We discuss the benefits of weighted blankets in our special guide.
Toys for autistic kids 5 to 10 years old
The perfect chew toy for children with oral needs as it improves focus and is calming. It is manufactured from 100 percent pure silicone and is guaranteed to be non-toxic.
This super-soft stretchy non-toxic material is fun to manipulate and touch, Can be used to during handwriting for increased proprioceptive input. One size fits most.
Pick one of these three sturdy sports balls filled with a thick, natural sugar-based gel that provides a nice amount of resistance. Helps with calming meltdowns, encouraging fine motor development, and redirecting attention and focus.
This gift can help a child improve the balance and motor skills of children on the spectrum, particularly those with vestibular sensory needs in a movement-based environment. This ride-on toy can be used while sitting, kneeling, or in a prone position.
Place this fun water blob anywhere in your backyard! Kids can jump, roll, lie, sit, and make waves on it while making colorful fish inside move, too!
This great visual support for those with communication challenges includes 36 2 schedule, full color, laminated picture cards.
This durable, water and stain-resistant bean bag provides even pressure on the body and a calming sense of security.
This interactive, expressive bear cub loves to play during the day. In nighttime mode, he makes sleepy sounds and plays soft music. He’s a fun day-to-night best friend!
This indoor therapy swing is perfect for sensory integration and vestibular activities. It provides exercises that train and tone the body, especially in the cervical-nuchal region.
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Kids Aged 10 +
This cube-shaped fidget features a variety of buttons and balls you can click, glide, and flip to keep your fingers busy. Switches, wheels, divots, and even a joystick are included to provide enough options to satisfy.
This 13″ air-filled seat disc has a unique dome-shaped top that mimics an exercise ball. It’s great to help kids with autism sit and attend to tasks!
This product features two wooden trays with six wooden cylinder boxes in each tray to improve the senses and calm children with olfactory sensory needs. Lids are removable to allow placement of different scents.
This product provides deep pressure for those who struggle with anger, anxiety, sensory, or focus challenges. It features a unique tube design that provides deep pressure from the shoulders down. Sizes XS-XL
Gifts for an autistic teens
It can be difficult to break the ice and start conversations with peers for teens. With this gift, you have access to 101 interesting questions to stimulate dialogue and avoid awkwardness! Use this social communication resource in the home, classroom, or clinic to get kids talking with ease.
Discreet smooth key chain fidget features interlocking rings of different sizes and textures to engage sensory seekers. Flip the rings into an endless number of positions for hours of fidgeting.
Professor Pengelly’s putty provides lots of fine motor fun and never dries out. Each five-ounce putty set includes a sturdy storage tin. Choose from Ice Blast, Glitter Unicorn Putty, or Blue Magnetic putty.
These noise reduction headphones are designed for all-day wear to protect the hearing of workers in noisy environments. They have a noise reduction rating of 27 decibels. When adjusted properly, they block out sound while also evenly distributing pressure.
This vest provides calming deep pressure to kids and adults with autism or sensory challenges. It features 2mm neoprene, similar to the fabric used for wet suits. It is perforated, allowing it to breathe, which will prevent overheating.
Provide gentle sensory stimulation with the soothing textures of this pillow available in soft, pastel colors, and four fabric swatches with unique textures. Great as a calming tool for overstimulated students.
This 32-inch water lamp creates a calming effect with its changing lights, moving fish, and the gentle hum of the pump makes it ideal.
Deep pressure stimulation with uniquely designed industry-leading temperature regulating fabrics and insulating layers for cool comfort, high tech sewing technologies for longevity, and a luxurious organic bamboo duvet cover options.
We hope our guide will help you find the best gifts for your loved ones this season.
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