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Holiday Gift Guide for Children with Sensory Needs



The holidays are right around the corner, and you may be wondering what to gift to that special child with sensory needs. Many children on the autism spectrum experience sensory sensitivity.


Some children seek out sensory input and may be particularly interested in specific sensory input stimuli. Other children may experience sensory defensiveness and shy away from items or events that are noisy, crowded, or overly stimulating.


This holiday gift guide includes recommendations for a variety of sensory needs, including auditory, visual, tactile, and vestibular, in addition to sensory defensive protection! You can purchase all of these via Amazon from the comfort of your home!


Visual


Visual sensory input includes stimuli that are processed through our sense of vision. Visual stimuli may include variations of light and movement. Someone seeking visual sensory input may be interested in things that move, spin, float, drift, or race. Visual stimuli may also light up and flash, change colors, move in a pattern, or change brightness or intensity. There are a variety of items that may satisfy visual sensory needs, see below for our suggestions.

Item Name

Picture

Link

Price Range

Star Projector



$10-25

Sensory Moon Night Light



$25-50

Bubble Fish Aquarium



$75-100

Auditory


Auditory sensory input includes stimuli that are processed through our sense of hearing. Auditory stimuli may include variations of sound or music. Someone seeking auditory input may be interested in something that ticks, clicks, hums, or sings. There are a variety of items that may satisfy auditory sensory needs, see below for our suggestions.

Item Name

Picture

Link

Price Range

8" Rainstick



$10-25

Comforting Nightlight Ocean Projector



$25-50

Floor Piano Mat



$50-75

Tactile


Tactile sensory input includes stimuli that are processed through our sense of touch. Tactile stimuli may include different types of pressure or texture. Someone seeking tactile input may be interested in the way things feel to the touch, such as items that are soft, heavy, silky, squishy, wet, or crunchy. There are a variety of items that may satisfy tactile sensory needs, see below for our suggestions.

Item Name

Picture

Link

Price Range

Kinetic Sand



$10-15

Weighted Lap Pad



$25-50

Space Themed Water Bead Kit



$10-25

Vestibular


Vestibular sensory input includes stimuli that are processed through our sense of body movement. Vestibular stimuli may include variations of movement or motion. Someone seeking vestibular input may be interested in items that provide movement, such as rocking, swinging, spinning, or bouncing. There are a variety of things that may satisfy vestibular sensory needs, see below for our suggestions.

Item Name

Picture

Link

Price Range

Teeter Popper



$25-50

Compression Swing



$100-125

Pod Swing



$25-50

Sensory Protection


Sensory protection limits sensory input for those who are sensitive to any sensory input. Sensory protection may be beneficial when a person is flooded with too much sensory input and needs time or space to process the input and recharge. Sensory protection may block sensory input or provide a safe space to separate from sensory input and process events. There are a variety of items that may provide sensory protection, see below for our suggestions.

Item Name

Picture

Link

Price Range

Noise Cancelling Headphones



$25-50

Snuggle Chair



$75-100

Sensory Bubble Pop Up



$50-75


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