What do you buy a special needs child for Christmas?
As we are right around the corner from Christmas and smack dab in the middle of gift giving season special needs parents have special considerations when it comes to managing present gifting to their special needs children. And for that matter, grandmas, friends and everyone else.
Do you have a special need child to buy for? Here are some of our tips.
Don’t worry about “fair”. This is a general rule in our family. Our seven year old daughter’s toys geared toward one-year-olds cost quite a bit less than those toys that are for her 5-7 year old siblings. If a toy that you have in mind for her only cost $10 but you had $20 in mind? Please… don’t. That toy is fine, don’t buy more, there is no need. We promise. We have had seven years of collecting toys for one-year-olds, you can imagine the collection we have going! We love the newest fun toys, but no need to over do it.
Don’t know what to get? Ask! Dylan likes toys and dolls that sing and play music. But other children prefer cause and effect, maybe communication tools, sensory items. There are so many cool things on the market, their parents have probably been dreaming of several items and can give you great ideas! They know their children the best. I would much rather have someone ask than get something that won’t be put to good fun here.
Consider adding to a savings account? Have extra money to contribute? Ask the parents if they are saving for expensive special needs items like strollers or therapy tools. Wheel chair ramps, lift systems and other home modifications are also frequently on the needs list. Often tools geared toward the special needs community cost quite a bit more and require some time for the funds to add up. I know a few families that are currently taking donations through internet crowd funding sites for special needs adapted vans. This is a pretty common need for families with children in wheelchairs because adapted vans often cost $40-$80k.
Use online resources. There is a group I have been following on FaceBook that gives ideas for special needs kids, not only offering the toys but why the child might like it and who it might work for. Even Toys R Us is recognizing that we are a special market with their Toy Catalog for Differently-abled Kids. If you know the child’s interests, this could be a good resource for you. There are also many websites that sell special needs toys and tools. Some have magazines and as a special needs mom I LOVE browsing all the fun things! Here are some places to look.
- The FaceBook Group – A Very Special Needs Christmas
- Fun and Function
- eSpecial Needs
- Special Needs Essentials
- Special Needs Toys
We are in crunch time for this holiday season, but this applies to birthdays too. When in doubt, as a parent what you can do to help. Raising a special needs child takes a village and we are so grateful for all of the generosity of our family and friends and their desire to treat Dylan as a typical child right along with her siblings. Their willingness to save for us and with us and their kindness towards our family.
Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net