Hey there and welcome back! I'm so glad you could make it. My original plan for today was to talk about Retirement Homes and Assisted Living Facilities, especially in light of the disasters we saw this past summer; but then my wife pointed out that Thanksgiving is next week. So, with the official start of Christmas shopping so close upon us, I decided instead to ramble on about something near and dear to my heart; namely buying gifts for special needs children like my son.
As any parent knows, there's little as truly enjoyable as buying Christmas gifts for your child. But when your child is special needs, then things can get a bit twisted. How? Well let’s take a look, shall we?
Most children are anything but shy about telling you what they want for Christmas (or Chanuakah, or Kwanza, or any other holiday you care to mention). But what happens if your child is non-verbal? Many special needs children are after all, so you have to guess what they'd like by what they seem to like. And that isn't always as easy as it sounds. I've known children who loved Zuma but hated Luxor, just to give an example. And sometimes the gifts can get down right strange. One year my son's favorite gift was a desk lamp like the one Pixar used in the opening of their movie's!
Another thing to keep in mind is that age appropriate toys charts are often useless when trying to figure out what would make a great gift for your special needs child. Now I know this seems like a no brainer, but you'd be amazed at the number of well meaning people who will try to talk you out of buying your 15 year old GeoTrax simply because the age charts say GeoTrax is only for children aged 3-7. Ok, ok. I know. Fisher Price stoped making GeoTrax years ago, but it's still one of my son's favorite toys even though he's now 17; so, at least to me, it makes a perfect example of what I'm talking about. In short, if your child enjoys the toy, who cares if it's "age appropriate".
But maybe you're having a mental block while trying to come up with ideas. Believe me, it happens. It can happen to even the best of us, so don't beat yourself up over it. One easy way to get ideas is to type in "Special Needs Toys" on Amazon, Toys R Us, or even Walmart's web site. You'll be amazed at some of the ideas you'll find. Or check out other blogs that deal with special needs children. There's more of us out there than you might think. And finally, talk to your child's teacher. They'll have seen and heard ideas from more sources than you could shake a stick at.
I hope this has helped in some small way. It's definitely one of my shorter rambles, but I think it's an important one. So enjoy, and I hope you found some inspiration for some great gifts. Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Advent, and a Merry Christmas to all of you dear readers. And as always, remember, even when buying gifts, do it with attitude!