As many people are aware, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a broad term used to describe a range of individuals with varying needs and abilities. Individuals on the autism spectrum are just that, individuals. There are no one-size-fits-all gifts for autistic teenagers, but the following have been known to appeal to, and cater to, the special considerations of teenagers with autism.
At Launch, we recognize the value of motion and the special needs of a specific clientele. We offer programs that exclusively cater to those with autism and sensory issues. A well-trained staff, fewer strobes, dim lights, and a quieter environment allow teens and others with autism to move, bounce, and interact socially with peers. Trampoline activities help build stamina, muscle strength, and balance. Giving teens with autism a gift certificate to Launch provides them a venue to attend, free of judgment, with accommodations to make their experience with us memorable and stress-free.
It’s well-documented that teens with autism are fond of video games. Although it is arguably not as physically beneficial to play video games as bouncing on a trampoline, there are educational games available. The gaming community is a place where most teenagers feel accepted regardless of quirks or perceived limitations in the real world.
Regardless of whether an autistic teen wanders (the main reason people issue identification bracelets or wander alerts), there are other practical reasons to gift these items to teens with autism. If a teenager is driving or out with friends without supervision, emergency responders and police are encouraged to be trained in dealing with those with autism.
A sticker on a car driven or a bracelet identifying individuals with autism can be a lifesaving prompt for police and fire personnel to understand how to interact best with your teen.
In addition to Launch, there are other autism-friendly activities for teens on the spectrum. From movies to museums, more and more places are offering sensory-friendly activities for families and friends to enjoy together.
Many teens with autism want to dress smart, but sensory issues limit the clothes they are willing to wear. Give the gift of adaptive clothing! Find seamless, soft, and sensory-safe clothes online, including adaptive jeans. Help teenagers with autism feel comfortable and well-dressed at the same time.
Weighted blankets, pressure vests, or sensory shelters make great gifts for autistic teenagers who need the assurance and benefits these products provide. Weighted items and pressure touch stimulation help those with autism stay calm under stress or in strange environments. If you’re the teen’s parent, some products are covered by medical insurance.
Many teenagers are new to managing their appearance. Once puberty hits, and dating and socializing come into play, it’s important to engage teenagers, with or without autism, to care for themselves properly. Try giving a grooming kit, complete with deodorant, shaving aids, nail care, and more. There are sensory-friendly hair brushes and nail care devices, even “calming clippers™” for stress-free easy haircuts. If your teen needs prompting to wash, brush, or groom him or herself, perhaps you should include a social story in the package.
If a teen with autism already has items for communication like picture cards, key rings, or a tablet, a good gift for him or her is an age-appropriate upgrade. New cards, photos, apps, and other add-ons will be welcome as teenagers face unique situational changes in their lives during these years. Puberty, driving, school changes, and new social situations are all examples of topics that require additional language support. Arm teenagers with autism with the gift of language by giving them the tools they need to communicate.
Not all teens have outgrown playing. In fact, many teenagers with autism still enjoy building projects, models, tactile games, mazes, model trains, and scientific projects. These advanced versions of kids’ toys can provide hours of fun and are the perfect gift for autistic teenagers.
Your teen may still need chewable jewelry and fidget items to aid in controlling anxiety in social situations and assuage flapping, tics, and stimming behaviors. High school and middle school are certainly places where stress can build and cause unease. Chewable and fidget items are available as gifts for autistic teenagers to manage stress. You can add them to pens and pencils or your teen can wear them on a lanyard or as jewelry. Best of all, they’re discreet so as not to draw attention.
The best gift is, of course, the support and consideration of loved ones and friends. Enjoy each other at our facility and take advantage of the accommodations we offer for those with special needs and their families.
Would you like to attend one of our special VIP nights? Look up your nearest Launch location to find out which night of the week is right for you.