Some individuals with autism are very creative and capable of selecting and giving gifts without any assistance. But others need some help coming up with ideas for presents for their family and friends.
Ideas abound at this time of year for homemade gifts to warm hearts and spread holiday cheer. No need to spend a lot of money, nor to expect a perfectly crafted present. It is, truly, the thought that counts.
An internet search for “homemade gifts” or “holiday crafts” will yield literally hundreds of ideas for making meaningful gifts. A homemade gift not only saves money, but also helps the individual with autism play an active role in the gifting process. As with all projects, the key to success is to encourage the individual to be as involved as possible in the process, only providing assistance or guidance when required. Here are some gift-giving ideas that have worked over the years for some of my friends with autism.
GOODIES IN A JAR. Most people with autism can help compile ingredients for various goodies in a jar or bag. Some “goodies in a jar” that are rather foolproof include hot chocolate mix, chocolate chip cookie mix, 9 bean soup mix, or even bath salts or bird seed mixtures.
HOMEMADE GOODIES. Your friend with autism can help make peppermint almond bark, brownies, dipped pretzels, caramel corn, or other goodies. Put in sandwich bags tied with curly red ribbon. Attach a small card containing the recipe and your friend’s signature.
A BIT OF YOURSELF. Your friend with autism can really spread holiday cheer by giving a bit of themselves: a photo, a personalized coupon book, or a folder of art, writing, photos, or coloring pages produced just for the gift recipient.
TIP FOR THE DAY. Think creatively when making a plan for your friend with autism to make gifts for his family and friends. Consider some of these ideas that allow folks, even those with limited cognitive skills or motor abilities, to participate in the spirit of the holiday season by giving personalized gifts.
NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me a confidential email at talk@FAQautism.com with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com