Christmas morning is easily one of the most exciting days of the whole year, for kids and adults alike. You race downstairs to see all the presents Santa left you. There’s nothing better than ripping off the wrapping paper to see that absolutely perfect gift inside. Any and all kids should enjoy the beauty and magic of getting the perfect gift, regardless of any disabilities.
Children that have different abilities than their peers may be a little harder to buy that perfect gift for. You want to get a toy that honors their specific needs that is still something they can fully enjoy. Do your research, and consider what would make your child truly happy. Just because they have a disability doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy toys and have a happy holiday just like everyone else.
Consider their abilities when you choose your gifts.
As you work to pick out that perfect gift, it’s important to consider your child’s specific abilities. For example, a child who is dealing with hearing loss after a diagnosis from hearing tests for children may need specific toys. Get them a fun and well-designed hearing aid or toys that focus on the other senses. Allow your toddler or newborn to enjoy tactile items rather than things with microphones, earphones, or high pitched tones.
Another example would be that a child with a cognitive disability may enjoy a toy where their problem-solving skills can be practiced. It will be best to give a gift that they can enjoy alongside their disability. Consider what may frustrate them, and avoid those gifts altogether.
Celebrate the things they love.
One thing that everyone has in common, despite your abilities, is the people you love. Sometimes, the perfect gifts for the holiday season are specialized cards showing your love and appreciation. Send out seasons greetings cards that show your young children all the love and warm wishes. Sometimes a colorful card with smiling faces or their favorite characters can bring a huge smile to their face. Toddlers and children have a way of reminding you that the little things in life can sometimes be the most important. For them, a holiday card can be the perfect way to send good wishes and give the greatest gift of all, friendship and love.
Get them toys that represent them.
Representation matters, and nowhere is that more important than with gifts for children with disabilities. Big-name companies are coming out with more and more customizable special toys that show kids with disabilities that they aren’t alone. How special is it to see a Barbie doll with leg braces or a cochlear implant?
Also, consider cartoons and TV shows that are including more diverse characters. Sesame Street recently introduced its first character with autism. Maybe your child who is also on the spectrum will appreciate a gift involving that same character with abilities just like their own. At any child’s age, it’s meaningful to see characters and toys that represent who they are. If you can find those toys, you can create a special memory for your child.
Find toys that also help them practice their skills.
For kids with disabilities, you want to help them develop their skills and abilities however you can. Consider getting gifts for them that will also help them practice skills. Children with cognitive disabilities may benefit from puzzles, number games, tactile balls, and items, or logic-driven toys. For children with language barriers, can you get a sound source or soft sound that offers an invitation for them to make some noise? How about bringing play mats and toys that encourage children with physical disabilities? Consider finding these gifts that can be fun and help your younger children grow and take control of their different abilities.
Every child is unique, with or without disabilities. The most important part of gift-giving is to find a gift that fits them.