We are continuing our discussion about ideas for appropriate gifts for our friends with autism, some of whom are unable to tell us what they want on their wish list. Other individuals may be so attached with their familiar objects, clothes, and books that they are not interested in a replacement. Under those circumstances, how do we select gifts they may enjoy?
PERSONAL RECLINER. Many years ago, one of my long-time students with autism taught me about a great gift. Every week, when he came to my home for music therapy, he sat in my husband’s rocking recliner chair. His parents had never been able to find something he would really enjoy for Christmas, so they were thrilled when we talked about the possibility of their buying him his own personal recliner. They rearranged his room, then took him shopping. He sat in a number of different recliners before picking out his favorite – one that happened to look similar to my husband’s chair. Over the years, he has worn out that recliner and wants another one this Christmas.
If you have a younger child, consider getting a full-sized recliner rather than a child-sized chair. The large recliner gives the youngster their very own place to hang around, to rock, and to snuggle with family members when reading a book or just making personal connections.
PERSONAL DESK. Another youngster enjoyed getting her very own desk so she could organize all her books and gadgets in the drawers and on top. Her parents found the desk at a garage sale, and made room in her bedroom so she would have a place to keep her precious belongings. I have given her various file folders over the years, and she really enjoys arranging and rearranging her files. The desk is a gift that can be enjoyed by children, teens, and adults, so it lasts through the years.
TIP FOR THE DAY: Check in tomorrow for the final segment, part 3 of our Wish List series focusing on finding meaningful, enjoyable gifts for our friends with autism.
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