For many children, the best gift is time spent together in an activity the child enjoys, and a gift related to that activity can be a momento that reminds the child of both the giver and the experience.
Sometimes parents will provide a birthday or holiday gift 'wish list' for each of their children, or register for toys or other items online or at local retailers. And of course, many children make their own 'wish list' known from a very early age, if they believe an adult has an interest in their preferences.
There are advocacy organizations and resources for families of just about any diagnosis where family and friends can find suggestions for wonderful presents for any price range that will be enjoyed by the child as well as being appreciated by the parents.
Presents suggested for babies with disabilities are often the same products that you would buy for any treasured newborn or toddler. Many are based on research developed for early intervention programs to encourage and support toddlers or preschoolers with special needs. Gifts for older children and teens may have therapeutic value that is well-disguised in age appropriate items.
Finding a gift that you enjoy and sharing it with a child who would not consider for a wish list may not result in the reaction we see in commercials or print ads, but over time may build a better relationship between the giver and receiver because it's fun to play with or figure out. Often, the best toys are not the most expensive or most advertised. Being known to children in the family as the relative or family friend who finds the best presents will mean more in the long run than the expense of the gifts themselves. Enjoy your shopping and gift-giving opportunities - and treat yourself to some extra fun, too.
Finding a wonderful gift for any child often requires familiarity with the individual as well as knowledge of what the most current popular toys in our price range happen to be. For children with developmental disabilities, physical challenges, or specific healthcare needs, there may be features to consider that mean a great deal to their parents.
Sometimes parents are quite touched by a gift for a child with a disability that is completely inappropriate, because it symbolizes the affection the giver has for the child, the giver's high expectations, or great expense. If grandpa gives a football or huge team jersey to every baby boy born in the family, that tradition should be follwed for a baby boy with a disability.
If a grandmother buys a cookbook or an impossibly frilly dress for every newborn granddaughter, the same holds true. For toddlers and older children, and especially teens, the estimated price tag on the gift for the child with the disability should compare favorably with gifts given to siblings or cousins; the number of gifts, wrappings and bows should also be comparable.
Browse in catalogs, at local retailers or online for the most popular current toys for mainstream children when considering a gift for a child with a disability. They are as aware of advertising and promotion as their mainstream peers, even in early childhood.
Nintendo Wii Therapy for Children and Teens
Amazon Kindle and Childhood Disability
Photography Lessons for Children
The iPrompts Application and Childhood Disability
iPhone and iPod Touch Apps - Childhood Disability
Special Needs Children - eStore at Amazon.com
2009 Holiday Gift Guide for People in Wheelchairs
Find software, toys and other gifts via the
Holiday Specials at Amazon.com - you may be able to find the same item in a local department store or discount retailer - it makes a difference to your local economy to buy local wherever possible.
Ordering Amazon.com Gift Certificates or other products from a link in an article will help (slightly) support the Special Needs Children website. Please check reader reviews, shipping and handling costs at Amazon.