Best Christmas gifts for kids with special needs- what to give and get the biggest hug!

Christmas is just around the corner.

I remember when I was a kid, I would always wait expectantly for Christmas day because this was the time when  I would go to my godparents’ house, hug them  and ask their blessing, then  I would get a full plastic bag of goodies in return.

Life was simpler then and we lived in a very small town where neighbors chat with each other outside their homes and practically we knew everyone in the neighborhood or maybe even the whole town.

My mom knew how to sew so I and my sister would happily wear our Christmas dresses which looked alike. We felt like we were twin dolls lol!

Best Christmas gifts for kids with special needs

When I was in university, I would start buying simple gifts for my younger siblings as early as October. We would open our gifts on Christmas day after lunch before heading to my aunt’s place for the party, where the kids got more gifts. Chocolates or other treats were favorites, more than clothes or money

How about you? Have you started your Christmas shopping this year?

I sure have.

So what are you planning to buy or add more if you have purchased some already?

I did some research and compiled this list for the best Christmas gifts for kids with special needs and for sure when they get these, they will jump with joy and you will get the biggest hug ever.

Don’t forget to click the images to see the price of the toys that you want to buy.

Here we go!

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Educational toys

More than enjoying playing with toys, our kids with special needs, especially if they are non-verbal, would squeak with delight the first time that they open a toy and find it talking or emitting sounds or giving out beautiful lights.

Like this baby hammer toy that triggers light and sound when pounded.

Baby hammer toy that will amuse your kid with the sound when pounded

Or this interactive toy school bus with flashing lights and sounds.

Toy train with flashing lights and sounds

Be sure to buy also toys that are educational, so their creative minds will be enhanced, as well, communication skills will be developed.

This dinosaur wooden puzzle will teach your child the alphabet, as well develop his fine motor skills and imagination.

Dinosaur wooden puzzle for fine motor skills and learning the alphabet

The theraputty will enhance your special kids’ fine motor skills and creativity.

Theraputty to enhance fine motor skills and creativity

Christmas is the best time of the year

Books

I love giving books as gifts to my nephews and nieces. I believe that books are the best gifts if you want the kids to enjoy reading as they grow up.

Reading to your special child is a very good bonding time as well, next to playing with them.

Before going to sleep, when you lie side by side in bed, reading to them their favorite book not only will allow them to develop communication skills, but their imagination as well.

Even if they are non-verbal, I’m sure they are able to understand in their own little way what you are reading to them especially if you make your reading more enjoyable by acting out the story, like voicing out animals’ sounds for example.

First word books or alphabet books like these are very educational and be sure to buy books showing beautiful pictures, as well to catch the interest of your kid.

ABC book to improve ypur kid's vocabulary and enhance communication skills         First 100 words to add to your kid's vocabulary     First 100 animals will delight your kids and learn about animals around them

 

 

 

Story books, likewise would be one of the best gifts. Choose books that impart moral values about love of God and family. Likewise the values of respect, sharing , and empathy.

These story books will surely give delight to your little ones.

Bedtime stories to enhance your kids' imagination

 

 

For older kids, these story books would be a hit.

Love You Forever is my most favorite kids’ book. It tells  a story of a mother’s love from birth to forever. It really touches a mom’s heart. It’s so beautiful! I will keep this book forever. I don’t mind reading it again and again.

Love you forever is a beautiful story of a mother's love

 

 

Photobooks

Collect their most beautiful photos from a recent holiday or his most memorable birthday and present to your special child in a beautiful photobook.

Even looking at photos from since they were a baby until now will make them have a wide smile and they will enjoy turning the pages as they recognize themselves in the photobook.

It is also a special album for the whole family to store your memories. Click the image below to see the price.

Photobooks to file your special kids memorable events
We have an advertising relationship with the stores or businesses we link in this post. We'll earn a commission when you shop through our links with no added cost to you. You are able to help special children, as well in Romblon, Philippines.

Musical instruments

It is proven that music therapy has lots of benefits for our children with special needs.

Let your special kid be jolly everyday by giving him something that he can play not only to let him enjoy but to improve his focus and communication skills.

Let music flow in your homes everyday. Even just one musical instrument that he loves and plays a lot will improve everyone’s mood around the house.

If your special girl loves to sing, this karaoke set is the best gift. You will enjoy hearing the angelic voice of your daughter even though her lyrics have some funny twists.

Karaoke set to develop the singing talent of your special girlThis drum set for small kids ( 15 months up )  will enhance their motor skills and help them focus and engage.

Drum set to hone musical skills and develop fine motor skills These harmonica are so easy to play, your special child just needs to blow through it and voila, there will be beautiful music that he can create. And he will enjoy doing it again and again.

This xylophone comes with two sheets of music ( Twinkle twinkle little star and Mary had a little lamb ) which an older kid can easily follow.

 

Writing and coloring  materials

Discover the creative imagination of your special kid by giving him materials that  he can use to draw, doodle, and create something that he can be proud of.

Give him lots of crayons and colored pencils with paper and just let your special child practice to grip the writing materials and encourage him to just draw those lines and circles and let him use all the colors for him to enjoy and develop his writing skills and creativity.

Show his works of art and put them in your fridge or the wall in his room.

Appreciate his works at all times!

For older kids who know how to properly grip crayons or colored pencils, this coloring book is a nice gift.

Coloring books to develop creativity and the love for art

These doodle pads are the right sizes for those small hands. They are also easy to bring during travel.

Doodle pads to develop kid's imagination and practice writing skillsThese large crayons with 16 colors to choose from will delight your special child and inspire him to doodle or  draw all the time.Crayons to inspire your special child to make works of artMommies, you will love these washable crayons because they’re easy to clean up even if your kids draw on your walls. How’s that?

Washable crayons for easy clean up

Shoes and Clothes

What is Christmas for kids without new shoes and clothes?

They usually want to show off their beautiful outfits when they go to church or go to their godparents and grandparents asking for their presents.

Shop here for new dresses and clothes.

Awesome clothes for Christmas!

 

These girls’ sandals will fit nicely on their feet and will hold on even though they have mobility issues. I bet they can’t  wait for summer to use them. Might use them at home, lol!

 

 

 

This flashing sneaker will be a hit with your special child paired with an awesome shirt.

Flashing sneakers to amuse your special kidThese squeaky shoes for your little girl will amuse her as she walks.

Squeaky shoes for your baby toddler's cute feet Awesome shirts will make your kids’ Christmas more enjoyable! Check them out. The boys’ shirts  come in three colors- red, blue, and black.

Awesome shirts for boys

Harry potter’s girl’s shirt in burgundy.

Harry Potter girl's shirt Bags and backpacks

Some beautiful bags or backpacks to bring around at doctor or therapist visits to put your special kids’ toys and other essentials would be a nice gift idea as well.

Think of how the designs will give them joy.

 

 Your little girl will love carrying this unicorn kids’ backpack anywhere she goes. It comes with a lunch bag as well, which is very useful when going out to doctor’s visits or to school.

Unicorn girls backpack

This weighted huggy bear back pack will surely give comfort to your special one, being so huggable and soft. Click the image to see the price.

Huggy bear weighted backpack

Huggable toys

Toys that will calm their anxieties are those that they can hug, like this weighted teddy bear and the Plush Pickle. They will enjoy carrying them and showing to their playmates, as well.

 

 

When we think of gifts for Christmas, the kids are always the most excited.

They would even trade chocolates or toys with money. They usually love getting presents that give them enjoyment. Opening those boxes or bags give them lots of perk!

They even wake up really early on Christmas day to start opening their presents once their parents allow them.

Christmas gifts come in different sizes

As parents, we are also excited shopping for them, even small items for their Christmas stockings.

Their belief that Santa Claus is there to give them presents as long as they’re nice gives them more enthusiasm during the holidays.

Even our children with special needs feel the excitement, so start buying those memorable gifts for them.

Happy shopping!

Let us all enjoy Christmas with our families!

 

 

Do you recall the time when your special kid jumped with joy when he opened a Christmas present from you?

When is your most memorable Christmas with your little one? Did you have a gift that until now is still precious to him?

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Behavior therapy for Autism-from a registered therapist to your home

I luckily met another friend at Wealthy Affiliate who happily shares her experiences taking care of autistic and other special kids. She loves kids, that’s for sure.

Some people, including me, even considers her an angel for doing her job really well and with passion.

Meet Taylor, who offers behavior therapy for autism and other special kids, serving clients at the comfort of their homes.

You will surely love her just like how her clients and their families do.

 

Autistic kids benefit a lot when helped by a behavioral therapist

As a Registered Behavioral Therapist ( RBT ), please describe what you do.

“I have been an RBT for just over a year now. I work with children from as young as 3 to as old as 21, but the typical ages I see are between 3 and 15.

Most kids have an autism diagnosis, but some have Down syndrome or other types of intellectual disabilities. Almost all of these kids except the very young ones, attend special schools in the morning, or home-schooled, so I see them in the afternoon.

On a typical day, I start my session out by hanging out with my client to give them a bit of transition time. Then, I assist with things like daily living skills (e.g., getting dressed, brushing teeth, doing homework), skill acquisition (learning numbers, letters, colors, etc).


Each client has what we call a behavioral service plan that tells me the types of things I do with them.

Each child has goals that they are working towards, so I help them achieve those goals and take data on their progress.”

What motivated you to become an RBT?

“My inspiration to work with special needs kids came when I was a senior in college.

I was taking a class called Culture and Child Development and we did a unit on autism. I was immediately fascinated and drawn to the subject.”

What is your typical day like?

” On a typical day, I have anywhere from one to three sessions for 2 hours usually.

As a direct care provider working in homes, I have a small caseload. What I do during each session depends on the age and skill level of the child.

For my younger clients, I do a lot of playing to work on cooperation, turn-taking, and waiting. I also work on skill acquisition, compliance with demands, and behavior reduction.

What that all means is, I work on having the child do what is asked of them without acting out.

Often, what I ask of them is something they are not sure how to do, so I will teach them how to do what is asked while working on reducing the amount of refusal they put up.

For older, higher functioning children, I work on functional life skills because they have acquired their basic skills. So, I teach them how to do some basic chores and things that their parents need them to do.”

Do you have any struggles or big challenges on being an RBT?

When you work with the special needs population, you often see challenging behaviors like aggression or high intensity tantrums, and even meltdowns.

This requires me to be quick on my toes, in order to block any attempted aggression, while trying to redirect the child to something more functional.

For meltdowns, in which the child has no control, being a sensory over stimulation, it is important to pinpoint what is causing it and eliminate it. If you cannot figure it out, or it cannot be eliminated, it is important to bring the child to a quiet place with less stimulation to help them calm down.

I have never given up on a child but I have had to leave cases because of time conflicts and things like that, but we work really hard to deal with even the most extreme behaviors. They’re often the ones who need us the most, so we never turn away a child for having a behavior that’s too much. ”

 

Mushy Smushy Bean Bag Chairs for relaxation and sensory playSensaSoft™ Chair and Stool for relaxation and calming

How do you handle a very difficult child?

” Each child is different, so you need to figure out what works with them.

Some kids have a really hard time complying with demands, so I will only give very small, very quick demands. For example, I will stop a child from playing to have them tell me what 2 letters are and then they can return to playing.

This builds up a tolerance for demands without overwhelming them.

I also use a lot of timers to signal transitions.

Transitions are incredibly difficult for children in general, but more so for special needs children. So, when I need them to come tell me what those 2 letters are, I set a timer and tell them how long they have until they need to do their work. I give them a warning for each minute left.

Using a visual schedule is often very helpful. It takes away the air of mystery about what comes next. By using timers and visuals, the child knows what is coming and when they can expect it. “

How do you involve the parents in caring for their kids?

” With in-home work, the parents are very much involved.

A huge part of what I do is called parent training. I am there to help the parent build skills just as much as I am there to help the child.

My job is to make life easier for everyone, so I teach the parents how to do what I do so that it can be continued even when I’m not there.

Consistency is key. If the behavioral interventions that I work on are used by the parents as well, the child is much more likely to pick them up quickly and maintain them over time.”

How do you feel at the end of a work day?

” That depends entirely on how my sessions for the day went.

Some days,  I feel on top of the world because one of my clients finally was able to do something we’ve been working on for days or weeks.

Other days I get in my car and cry because a session was so difficult.

There are those days that, no matter what you do, the child is having a tantrum, throwing things at you, trying to hit you, and refuses to do anything you say, even if it’s something fun.

Those are the hard days, but the days that I get to see the progress and see that what I’m doing is working and is helping far outweigh the bad days, so I’m always ready to do it again the next day.

What makes you happy or fulfilled on a certain day?

” What makes me happiest is seeing a child make progress.

I have one client that has a speech delay, so she doesn’t say too much. We play a game called Zingo, which is like bingo but with pictures. Each day, I have her do her best to tell me what each picture is.

One day, she got the piece with an owl on it. All by herself she happily exclaimed, “owl!” it was one of the best moments of my career.

Seeing a child learn and grow makes every hard day fade into the distance.”

Make Photo Books For every occasion
Create a photobook of your child’s special occasions. Click the image to view the price.

Any advice on those who plan to pursue a career as a Registered Behavioral Therapist? 

Take every bad day with a grain of salt and forgive.

One of the hardest parts of my job is to turn around after a tantrum where you were hit and kicked and suddenly the child starts playing again, but you have to. He doesn’t mean to act out, they simply don’t know another way to express their anger or frustration.

It’s my job to teach them those skills, so with every tantrum, I know there is still work to be done.

I would also say, don’t give up. Things can get difficult at times and you will have really bad days, but always hold onto the good days, the days when you’ve helped change a life for the better. There’s no better feeling than that.”

How do you de-stress after a difficult day?

I have a lot of different things that I like to do.

I often come home and play with my cat and dog and watch some TV. On the days when I have a bit more energy, I love to build Lego (playing is great for the mind! ) .

On weekends, I try to get out of the house as much as possible and move around as much as I can.”

There’s a point in our career that we realize we have made a difference in someone’s life, in your case a special child’s life. Please share with our readers.

I mentioned before about my client saying “owl” on her own for the first time, but something a bit more special was when she was first able to get my attention by speaking. It is a bit difficult for her to say my full name, so we decided that she would just call me T.

For the first few months she didn’t really show an interest getting my attention by calling my name, but the other day, as soon as I got out of my car she said, as clear as day, “look! T is here!” I wanted to cry, I was so happy.

For the rest of the session, anytime she wanted my attention she said, “T look!” I had been working for weeks to get her to use people’s names to get their attention and on that day it finally stuck.

She was using my name and her sister’s name, and she was also getting her mom’s attention by saying “mom look.”

Seeing the behavioral and verbal progress was just incredible. “

What is the best lesson that you learned from a special child/ children.

I have learned to be more relaxed and to forgive more easily.

Things don’t always go our way and while my kids do struggle with that and sometimes throw tantrums, they often bounce back and keep going.

I have also seen how quickly they are to forgive me when I don’t allow them to do something that they want. I can’t always give them what they want, when they want it, which can make them very upset, but a few minutes later, it’s like nothing happened.

They do a very good job of letting go and moving on, which is something we all need to be better at.

There’s no sense in holding onto things we can’t change.

Let go, move on, and keep being happy. “

Did I miss anything? Do you have something more important to share ?

” People always praise me and tell me what an angel I am for working with these kids. I don’t see it that way. I don’t think I’m special for doing what I do.

I do what I do because I love the kids and I love seeing them progress.

Not everyone can do what I do, but the same goes for any job. I’m not built for an office job. I couldn’t do it. I admire those people.

What I do is necessary, but I don’t think I’m any sort of special for doing it.

The kids are the ones to be admired. They’re the ones doing the hard work. “

 

The behavior technician helps kids and parents to make life easier.

 

WOW! What a very inspiring story of a very dedicated behavioral therapist. I can truly feel how Taylor loves her job and her kids. Her patience and forgiving nature is something so remarkable. She is like a mom and a teacher in a package.

I hope our parents out there start to seek out behavior therapy for your child with autism. Services like these that Taylor offers would be truly beneficial for your kid.

BTW, Taylor is also a blogger, who writes about how to help children as well as adults cope with stress and frustration. Check out her awesome articles at https://brainbreather.com. You will enjoy reading them and will learn a lot.

 

Is your special needs child being taken cared of by a behavioral therapist? How is he coping? If not, do you consider looking for someone to help your child develop better skills to make his life as well as yours, easier?

 

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Raising a child with Down syndrome – our baby is our happy pill

I’m excited to introduce another extraordinary mom who cares for her child with special needs.

Her name is Emerald, a full time elementary school teacher for the last 12 years, who juggles her time between work and taking care of her family of 5. She is happily married to Jonathan, with whom she bore three kids- 18 year old Amber, 11 year old Jozsa, and Hailey, her special child.

Emerald did not want another baby after her second, but even though her pregnancy was unplanned, when she gave birth and found out that her baby was special, her motherly instinct brought her to act.

Soon she learned that raising a child with Down syndrome has its big struggles but she discovered and realized that ” our baby is our happy pill, ” and having her in their lives brought more meaning and joy to their family.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. There is no additional cost to you.

How old were you when you had your special child and how did you know that she was special?

” I was 36 years old when I gave birth to Hailey. She was like an accident/ unplanned pregnancy, I stopped taking pills because I had heart palpitations and I got pregnant! I had mixed feelings then, I was not ready for another child.

When Hailey was born, the attending physician already suspected that she was special because of her facial features.

We confirmed that she has Down syndrome when the result of her karyotype test came out on her third month.”

How did you and your family react to the news that she was special?

“The moment she was born, the doctor told us of her suspicion.

The rest of the day, I kept staring at her, afraid of what might happen.

My husband, who was away at that time, never learned of her condition because I was thinking it might affect his work. I waited for 3 months for him to finish his contract and that was the time when we brought Hailey to the city to confirm her condition.

Her two other sisters couldn’t really tell that time that she has Down syndrome because for us, she just looked normal.”

Describe your special child, including her health concerns and developmental milestones.

” At 2 years and 4 months, Hailey is our “happy pill. ” She always has a smile for everyone plus a big hug to offer.

Generally speaking her development is late, compared to kids her age. She started walking at 1 year and 8 months. Because she has poor muscle tone, her physical activities are limited. Despite this, she enjoys dancing, sometimes even without music while looking at herself in the mirror.

She is able to run as well, but we have to guide her because she just runs in any direction without thinking of her safety.

Hailey started eating solids when she was 6 months old, and at present she has a big appetite especially for pasta dishes.

She had a hole in her heart and she had a series of 2-D echocardiograms for monitoring until it closed at 1 year of age.

Hailey also has concerns with her thyroid hormones, thus she is being seen by an endocrinologist regularly.

She talks one word sentences like ” hello,” and able to point to food or cry if she is hungry.

Hailey used to have frequent cough and colds when she was less than a year old, but never had any serious illnesses. “

 

Do you have struggles in taking care of your special child? How do you manage?

” Being a working mom, it has always been a struggle to care for
Hailey.

We have to hire nannies, but they give me stress because they
cannot offer the same care and love that I can and believe that Hailey needs.

Being sickly when she was younger, we were scared of what might happen to Hailey.

Her developmental delays were also a big factor in our struggles.

With the strength that God gives us, we manage to care for Hailey despite the challenges. “

Is Hailey attending therapies at present?

” No, Hailey has not undergone any therapy. It was always our desire to let her have therapies, but because we live in the province, with no available therapist, we’re just happy how she is developing on her own.

She loves watching musical programs on the television and dances with the music.

Because I’m a teacher, I try to make her learn by letting her scribble with crayons as much as she can and read to her every day, especially with picture books. “

Keep memories in a photobook

Share with us how she makes you and your family happy.

” Hailey is such an angel, she offers us unending expressions of love.
She kisses us and hugs almost everyone.

Her milestones give us the biggest delight. They make us appreciate the simple things in life.

When we are feeling gloomy, just looking at her smile brings back the sunshine in our day.”

Do you have any fears about her future? What do you hope that Hailey will achieve or will become someday?

I hope and pray that her older sisters will never get tired of to care for her and provide for her needs when I and my husband are gone.

As she grows up, I just wish that we can give her learning opportunities for her to fully develop her highest potential. I plan to enroll her in the Special Education program here in our town. I’m excited for her to start school, thus as early as now, I have actually talked to the teacher already.

If she cannot finish college I hope she will be given opportunities where she can be productive and independent, thus will be happy and fulfilled of the things that she can do.”

Any advice to parents especially moms on how to take care of a special child?

” My biggest advice is to give your child with special needs your never ending love. That’s all they need.

Accept their incapabilities and treat them as normal, though of course caring in a special way. Surely they will give back in ways that they know.

For new moms having a child with special needs – cheer up, he’s a blessing from God, a gift wrapped in a more colorful packaging.”

Children with special needs are gifts from God

Parenting a special child has its shares of struggles, but if these are considered challenges that you parents can overcome, then focusing on the growth and development of your child and being joyful of his milestones is no feat at all.

Like Emerald and her family  who has embraced Hailey and her slow development, every milestone reached even though delayed deserves appreciation and only then will our special child feel that she is loved unconditionally and nobody can take that away from her.

 

Are you a parent of a child with Down syndrome or any child with special needs? How is your experience in raising him or her? Please share your story with us.

 

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We'll earn a commission when you shop through our link with no added cost to you.
You are able to help special children, as well in Romblon, Philippines.

 

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