Buying the Perfect “Autism” Gift

I love Christmas.  I love coming up with the perfect gift for my teenage daughter.  There are so many great things I can find for her.  My son, however, is another story.  He is almost 19 but has interests similar to a 2 year old.  He loves sesame street, veggie tales, and yes, even Barney.  Ugh, how I hate buying these toys for my adult son.  But what to do?  As a person with autism, he has very narrow interests, none of which are age appropriate.  In addition, most of the things I buy for him he really could care less about it.  So, a few years ago, I just decided I would not buy him anything for Christmas.  The problem was I had done way too good a job teaching him how to open presents.  He said, “open present” that Christmas morning, and the scramble was on.  We all scoured the house for anything we could wrap up, that he may like.  It was not easy.  Ever since that disastrous holiday, I  find myself searching for anything he may like.  Usually, my “finds” fall flat.  He opens what I think is the perfect gift, only to never play or look at it again.  UGH!!  I am sure there are so many other parents out there in my shoes.  It is so difficult to find gifts for our kids who are significantly affected by autism.  So, I thought I would share my “finds” for this year in case there are other parents out there looking for that elusive gift their child MAY POSSIBLY be interested in.

Because he seems to like things that light up, I got:

night buddy

Night Buddy $12.90 Amazon

He also likes things that make music (plus I can use it as a decoration!) I got:


Hallmark Singing Snowman $17.95

Oddly, he has a weird affinity for yo-yo’s (oh, and it HAS to be green)….


Yo-Yo $6.49 Amazon

For the sensory side of him, I got these (accidentally bought a dozen of the spiky balls; that should last us a while!)

spikey ball

Light up spiky ball $4.69 Amazon

stretchy ball

Stretchy ball $4.64 Amazon







Over the past 2 years he has really started to love to draw.  Of course it is hand over hand, which makes me wonder if it is the drawing or just the undivided attention from Mom.  Either way, I got these which I think he may enjoy (while probably giving me a headache):

scented markers

Scented Markers $6.48 Amazon

Finally, a 5 pound bag of treats from Sams.  That may last a few day.

gummi bears

I am not sure if this will help anyone else out there or not.  While shopping online, I am always searching under the keywords “autism toys” but rarely come up with something that really fits the interests of my son.  Please comment below if you have any great finds you would like to share.  I may just steal them for myself 🙂


3 replies
  1. Anne Joy
    Anne Joy says:

    Thinking back to when we finally had an answer to why Jimmy was the way he was, I realize how far knowledge, care, assistance, solutions, and so forth, have advanced. And it has done that because of people like you, Christa, who are determined to fight for these children to make their lives better – as well as the lives of their families. Keep up the good work! Yes, Jimmy loves you, as do we all. Merry Christmas Everyone!

    • Beth Newton
      Beth Newton says:

      Yep, this sounds like our boy! He should love all these gifts, Christa! He’ll definitely enjoy opening the presents! We bought him a shower head that lights up and changes colors–hopefully, he’ll love it, as he does love water and showers. My brother may not enjoy installing it, but hey, it is Christmas! 🙂


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