Calming Gifts for Children with Autism & Asperger Syndrome

It’s that gift giving time of year and our product specialists have been receiving lots of calls with questions about gift suggestions for children and teens with autism.  We’ve put this list of calming gift ideas together to help you find a gift that is enjoyable and helpful for your loved one on the autism spectrum.

Weighted Gifts Can Help to Sooth and Relax

Many kids and teens on the autism spectrum love weighted products.  They can be extremely calming and relaxing.  The reason weighted products are so helpful is that they provide deep pressure.  Deep touch pressure provides surface pressure to the body that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling.  Many parents and therapists commonly use deep pressure to help with calming, sleeping, focus and concentration.

A weighted blanket is a great gift for a person on the autism spectrum who has sleeping problems.  The key with a weighted blanket is to find the right amount of weight for the blanket.  We prefer the Sleep Tight weighted blanket because it has a neck cut out which allows the calming weight to go over the autistic person’s shoulders without bunching up around the neck.

Weighted vests make a great calming gift because they provide deep pressure on the go.   This gift can make it easier to take a person out for visits, to a restaurant and help with focus issues in school.

Weighted sashes or neck wraps are a nice alternative to a weighted vest because they are easy to get on and off during times when someone is agitated and they don’t add an extra layer of clothing for those who overheat easily.

Vibration Gifts

Gentle vibration gifts are often highly enjoyable for kids and teens with autism and can calm and sooth an autistic person who is anxious or on the verge of a meltdown.  Vibration can be used to help deal with stressful situations such as during times of transition or while traveling.

Vibrating pillows make a wonderfully relaxing gift.  When looking at vibration or massage items make sure to avoid the shiatsu style pillows.  Anecdotal feedback from our customers suggest these types of massage items don’t work.  Vibration pillows come in lots of designs we offer a square pillow and also a massage roll pillow.

A vibrating mitt features a soft sheep skin cover and is pressure activated.  Just push the mitt down and feel the massage.  Best of all pressure activation conserves battery life.

A great small gift or stocking stuffer is a vibrating dinosaur egg.  This egg fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and it doesn’t look like a baby toy making it more socially appropriate for children and teens on the autism spectrum especially when they are with their peers.

Small hand held massager items are inexpensive, readily available and usually only cost between $6.00 – $35.00.  We offer cute animal massagers that many children with autism enjoy.

Gifts that Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

Motion Lighting

Gentle, flowing motion is always calming.  The Jellyfish Lamp, Vision Motion Lamp or Volcano lamp all feature a soft glowing light accompanied by gentle motion.  These make great gifts for older children and teens with autism.  The Tranquil Turtle and Twilight Turtle work well for preschoolers and younger children with autism.

Soothing Sounds & Lights

Another calming gift idea is a machine featuring calming noise.  Many children with autism enjoy listening to the rhythmic sounds of the ocean or a heartbeat.  The Sleep Sheep and Glow Cuddles Bear are adorable plush toys that offer a variety of soothing sounds.  The Tranquil Turtle and Twilight Turtle also come with a selection of soothing sounds.

Have a calming gift idea or suggestion for a child or teen with autism?  Let us know!  We are always on the lookout for calming items for people on the autism spectrum!

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