Trying to find the “perfect gift” is very stressful. With so many things to consider, the task can seem daunting. These tips aim to ease any stress felt while holiday shopping for a loved one with a disability.
Gift Guide for Children with Disabilities
Consider Their Disability
Probably one of the most important factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing a gift for someone who has a disability, is the type of disability they have. For instance, someone who is blind wouldn’t do well with a picture book, maybe a toy or gift with different textures and sounds would be more appropriate.
Some children have physical disabilities and some have intellectual disabilities and some have both. For those with physical disabilities special thought should be considered when choosing a gift that might require fine motor skills or even gross motor skills.
For a child with an intellectual disability, consider their cognitive age, not just their chronological age. Not all children who are 10 can ride a bike or read chapter books. Consider what age your loved one is at in their development and find toys or gifts that suit their needs.
Ask the Parents or Caregiver
If you are looking to find a gift for a loved one, no one truly knows their child better than a parent or caregiver. Just like each of us are unique and have hobbies and interests we gravitate to, children with disabilities will have likes and dislikes too.
Another great piece of information a parent or caregiver can provide is their child’s abilities. What activities can they do? You might have a great gift they would love but if the child is unable to engage with the gift, frustration and disappointment can occur.
Fortunately for our loved ones with a disability, more toys are being made that focus on inclusivity. This is great news for all people with disabilities, their needs are being thought of and considered in the making of toys. This helps not only those with a disability but all children to see the world focusing on including and thinking of those who might not look or think like we do.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gift
Here are some great questions to ask when considering a gift for someone who has a disability; is it a cognitive development toy? Will your child be able to activate the toy? Is it physical? Do you need a switch adaptor to use it? Will the toy allow your child to interact with others? Is it fragile?
Depending on what purpose the gift would serve, there are many different outcomes for what gift would seem appropriate.
Wrapping the Gift
This isn’t often thought about, however, when you give your loved one with a disability their gift, consider how to wrap their gift. Just like when you thought about your child’s abilities for the gift, consider how to wrap their gift so they are able to unwrap their gift as independently as possible. Gifts are supposed to be more about fun and making memories and less about therapy and fine motor practice.
Another thing to consider is to have most gifts assembled and ready to go prior to wrapping. This does require a certain level of planning, but doing so will help ensure a stress free gift exchange experience for everyone.
Gift Ideas for Someone with a Disability
Here are several fun ideas that are thoughtful and meaningful to give to someone with a disability: chalk paint, photo book, easy hold crayons, experiences such as a pass to a local museum or zoo, musical instrument set, self care items, sensory calming putty, blanket, stuffed animal, weighted blanket.