The holidays are in full swing. It’s that time where us less organized bunch scramble to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. You may be wondering what type of gift to give your family, friend, or special someone in your life that takes care of an individual with autism. The American Autism Association has found the 7 best gifts to give that person in your life that will make them feel cared for and appreciated.

1. The gift of being there

When you first have children, it feels like they consume your life – everything is about the little ones. Eventually, you build a balance between focusing on your needs and the needs of your children. This statement is seldom true for the parents of children with special needs. It is more often than not that parents of special needs children are seeking out support from schools, work, loved ones, and family. It may seem too simple. But sending a card with a reminder that you’re there for someone can have a large impact on them this holiday season than any gadget or gismo.

2. The gift of not having to cook

There’s no gift like time, and when you’re a special needs parent you dedicate a lot of time to prepping food. One meal for this child, another meal for your other child, and an attempt to make yourself a balanced meal is extremely time consuming. And don’t even mention the clean up. Get your chef hat ready and surprise them as a “guest chef”. If your Gordon Ramsey skills aren’t up to par, then surprise them by taking them out to dinner for the evening to a restaurant you know everyone will enjoy. Giving the gift of a family enjoying a meal without worries is something that will truly make this holiday season special.

3. The gift of a gift cards

You really can’t go wrong with a solid gift card. When you’re a special needs parent, it seems like all of your money goes towards therapy, school, and resources to help your child. Gift Cards are always a great idea because it offers a wide variety of options to the parent. And there’s a plus – if they spend it on themselves there won’t be any guilt since it was a gift! To dress up the gift card, you can attach it to a stuffed animal. It’s a cute way to present the gift to the family and provides a fun toy for the child!

4. The gift of a date night:

Whether you’re a parent to a child with special needs or not – everyone loves a date night. Parents of children with special needs, however, don’t get to experience a romantic night out as often as they would like. Get them a fun Groupon, tickets to a show, or a gift card to a new restaurant. Give them the little push they need to get out there and enjoy themselves. BUT – do not forget to help arrange the child care. Volunteer yourself, or help them find a qualified babysitter on websites like These various components make for the perfect concoction for a date night out for your friend thats the dedicated parent.

5. The gift of your place in line

Picture this. You’re in line at one of the ever so busy store trying to get your holiday shopping done, and you see a parent with their special needs child at the back of the line. They start fidgeting, their parent starts struggling. Give them your spot, and you just saved them 30 minutes of troublesome waiting and debating if they should leave the line. Sure, it’s the holidays and we’re all in a hurry but you already have the gifts in your hand. An act of kindness to a stranger can go a long way!

6. The gift of organization

Give a mom or dad in your life a full year of Birdhouse Premium, which is an app that allows parents to keep track of their child’s daily activities: meds, moods, diet, therapy, sleep, toilet trips, etc. all in one app on their phone. Knowing all the information is safe, secure, and can be easily referenced which gives parents more time to enjoy the important things, such as their great kids! This gift will reduce stress and drastically improve their quality of life at the same time.

7. The gift of love

We saved the best for last. Don’t forget to show some love for the super autism parent that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to better the life of their special needs child. This is the gift that keeps on giving.

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