Gift ideas for autistic kids

Updated February 21, 2017

Although many toys interest children with autism and children without autism, there are some toys that are more appropriate for autistic children. Not only can giving good gifts to autistic children make the children happy, but it also will likely please the parents as well.

Sturdy Toys

Do not buy gifts that smash if they are dropped. Although this is a good rule to follow for all children's toys, it is especially true for autistic children, because a smashed toy could lead to a tantrum that is hard for the child and the parents to control.


Giving books as gifts is fine, but be careful when choosing the kinds of books you want to give. Some autistic children enjoy ripping paper. While this is fine to do with wrapping paper, it is not fine if the present, such as a book, gets ripped as well. To discourage autistic children from tearing up the book inside the wrapping paper, choose books that have pages made from heavier cardboard, instead of thin paper. Bath books are good gifts, because the sound and texture of these books differs from other types of books. It is easier for autistic children to distinguish the difference when these books are given.

Toys With Few Pieces

Buy toys with only a few pieces. Some autistic children are adamant about making sure things stay organised. For example, if you buy several toy cars for a child with autism, there is a good chance he will be more concerned about making sure all the cars are lined up in a straight line than he will be about playing with the cars. It may be better to buy one or two big cars, instead of 30 to 40 small cars. The same is true of dolls.

Simple Toys

Buy gifts that are not so stimulating that they are hard for a child to play with. Autistic children tend to play better with toys that are simple in design and function. A toy that makes a lot of different sounds or has a lot of different colours that change can be a difficult toy for an autistic child to handle, simply because they may not be able to simply focus on any one aspect of the toy, and they can develop a sensory overload.

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