Adrienne Gaither, OTR, C-SIPT, an Occupational Therapist at Autism Community Network shares her favorite holiday gifts for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Music Lightshow DJ $24.99

Why I like this product: This item gives both auditory and visual stimulation at the same time and fits right on your child’s night stand. You provide the music, so it is individualized to your child’s preferences. If your child needs to calm before bedtime, you might choose soothing music. If your child needs a little help waking in the morning, you could choose more invigorating music. The light show is sure to be a favorite for those who seek visual information as the colors are a wonderful contrast in a darkened room. Comes with stickers and decals to personalize the shapes emitted by the light.  Link is here.

Sirius Vibrating Massage Pillow $28.99

Why I like this product: Pillows are naturally comfortable and soothing. Add gentle vibration and you can calm down a child who is nearing sensory overload and help improve engagement and arousal level in a child who tends to have a low arousal level. This product can be used in bed, in the classroom, in the car, on an airplane, or any other place your child needs to sit or lie down for long periods of time. Best of all, there are no cords or on/off switches. It is powered by batteries (not included) and the pressure your child puts on it by sitting or squeezing/hugging.  Link is here.

Pin Art $19.99

Why I like this product: This super fun toy can provide lots of entertainment in one small package. The feel and weight of the metal pins can be organizing and calming for a child who may be prone to sensory overload. It can also help desensitize hands that are wary of touching things with varying textures. Also, use of this product before coordination activities like handwriting or shoe tying can improve performance due to the rich sensory input it provides to “warm up” the hands.  Link is here.

Weighted Turtle $54.99

Why I like this product: Who doesn’t love a cute turtle? But this is no ordinary stuffed animal. It is weighted which provides soothing and organizing sensory input to help a child achieve an optimal state of arousal. Your child can simply cuddle with this item or sit with it as a weighted lap pad while doing tabletop work. It is sure to help with the wiggles and might even improve focus and attention. Link is here.

Beginner Pattern Blocks $16.49

Why I like this product: This is a beginner learning toy that is brightly colored with great visual contrast. It is more than a shape puzzle because it puts shapes together to form common designs. The pieces are durable and easy to handle as they are just the right size for small hands. It comes in a slotted box where each piece neatly fits when play is finished. Link is here.

From our home to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season filled with laughter and joy!