It's that time of year again...holiday shopping season is upon us! It can be hard enough coming up with the right gift for the children in your life when you consider what's popular, what her friends are getting, and what won't break the bank. But for those contemplating gifts for kids with special needs, it gets even tougher. Here are a few tips and a special offer that I hope will help...

 

*Forget age-appropriateness and think skill-building. With kids with certain special needs, age levels proposed by toy companies go out the window. Think about the skills your child is working on in therapy or at school and focus on finding toys/games that challenge those same skills.

*If the child in your life has fine motor and/or sensory integration challenges, steer clear of dry-erase! As tempting as it seems to be able to re-use coloring or activity books, the slippery nature of dry-erase provides very little physical feedback which makes skill building difficult. Opt instead for chalkboards or crayon activities. Bonus tip: For a cheap, year-round DIY approach to coloring/writing, buy some sandpaper and lay worksheets over it to increase feedback.

*Wii - need I say more? Granted, they're expensive but for those looking to splurge, Wii is a fabulous, multi-tasking developmental tool. As with toys, choose Wii games that challenge the areas being addressed in the child's life already.