Don’t you just hate it when people ask you, “so what do you want for birthday or Christmas?” and you have absolutely no idea what to tell them?
Huh? That’s never happened to you? That’s a foreign concept to you because you always have an itemized Wish List ready for birthdays and holidays?
I would imagine that many of us have a Wish List or could put one together at a moment’s notice.
I know my 4-year-old daughter has one…that’s for sure. She wants matching doll and girl clothes, some toy horse, a harmonica, some running shoes…and just about anything else she can think of. My wife has absolutely no difficulty when relatives or friends inquire about gift ideas for Margaret.
Our son, William, is another story. William just turned seven in November and here comes Christmas…and he has autism.
It really stresses my wife out during this season when people ask, “what can we get William for a present?”
Why is that so hard?
Because William pretty much doesn’t like presents. How crazy is that to say about a 7-year-old boy? But it’s true. He has his favorites…mini-trampoline(we’ve discussed that previously), he got a po-go stick recently and seems to enjoy that, he loves to climb on the monkey bars (you should see how torn up his hands are), and that’s pretty much it.
We have a closet full of cars, Legos, puzzles, games, animals…all that he will take a look at and maybe will tap-tap-tap on from time-to-time…but he just doesn’t get into presents!
And that’s OKAY. Parents out there who are in this situation…it’s okay. Celebrate the items your child likes to play with. Celebrate if they like odd and strange things more than they like cars and video games. Celebrate when your child actually finds an object to carry around (William used to carry this car around, didn’t really play with it but just carried it around and pushed the noise button…drove me CRAZY!)
No…it’s not typical and parents, grandparents, relatives won’t understand. But who cares. It’s not about them, it’s not about YOU, it’s about your child. If your child is happy playing with a paper towel tube, then let them play with a paper towel tube.
We have started getting board games and memory games and things that William likes (enough) but that we can do as a family. He’ll play for a little while then lose interest and go back to the mini-trampoline…and that’s okay.
So don’t stress…when someone asks, “What can I get your child with autism for a present?” don’t worry about it. If they need clothes, get them clothes, if they need basic items, have them get the basic items.
Most of all, make sure your child is happy, knows they’re loved, and knows that they are special.