Here are my top five favorite gifts for teens on the autism spectrum. I decided to write this post because I see lots of gift ideas for younger children with autism, but there's not much out there for teens. When looking for a gift for an autistic teen I ask myself two questions: will they enjoy it? Is it socially appropriate? I can't stand to see teens on the spectrum play with baby toys! I'm not saying its wrong, I'm just saying there may be other options. With that said here are my top five gift picks for 2012.
I love tangle toys. They are interesting to look at, great fidgets and come in lots of styles. For teens my absolute favorite is the Tangle Chrome Jr. First of all it looks beautiful and appropriate for a teen. Second of all it is made of chrome so it has some weight, which feels good in the hands. This is a very sturdy toy made of metal. That is also a benefit but if your teen bites things this will break his or her teeth. If they throw things then this is not the gift to get. My son absolutely loved this gift.
The Jellyfish Lamp is gorgeous and looks great in a teenagers room. Turn on this lamp and watch jellyfish glide around in the water with a slowly changing LED light backdrop. This also works well as a nightlight and will automatically shut off after four hours. If the autistic teen you are buying for is highly visual they will love it! Some other good gift lamps include a Volcano Lamp, Disco Ball or the Vision Motion Lamp.
This is a team version of the classic charades
game. Its fun to play as a group and can also help autistic teens work
on group interaction skills, understanding body language and nonverbal
cues. It's fun to play as a family and since its group oriented your
autistic teen can have fun playing without a lot of pressure to win and
learn some social skills at the same time.
Life is stressful, this little stress ball looks socially appropriate for teens and makes a great stocking stuffer.
This is just my list of favorites for 2012. I wrote more about how to choose a gift for an autistic teen in an earlier post that offers some general tips. Happy Shopping!