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5 Gift Ideas For A Special Needs Child, Created By One!

Plus 8 Great Gift Card Ideas For Special Needs Parents

By Carissa Garabedian, Publisher of Know Different and Macaroni Kid Richmond, VA December 18, 2017



I know that all kids can have a varied list, but, for those with special needs, it may be a little more specific. They may also be items that make parents' lives easier.

If you are shopping for a child this season and haven’t yet figured out what to get, check this list out. It may help.

  1. Comic Books/ Coloring Books - These do not require much reading, so if reading is not on the list for the child, the pictures can be enough. They tell a story and kids really like them.
  2. Movie Tickets  - Many theaters offer a sensory-friendly showing, so this can be a great family outing.
  3. iTunes Gift Card/Game Gift Card - Many kids have a device that they use for games/learning -- this would allow them to have some freedom in “adding funds”.
  4. Puzzles - This is an activity that a family can do together. Although, in our home, our son does not want help!
  5. Magazines - A subscription that comes monthly is a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving. Highlights, Nick Jr., and National Geographic are just a few ideas.


My 5 Ideas:

  1. A weighted blanket 
  2. A membership to their favorite place to go (examples - arcade, museum)
  3. A gift card for their favorite food/restaurant (examples - fast food, pizza) 
  4. Fidget Gadgets (examples - spinners, cubes, stress balls) 
  5. A wallet - nothing fancy, but a place to keep all these cards in so you know where they are when you are ready to use them!


8 Great Gift Card Ideas For Special Need Parents

Since we had a list for our kids with special needs, why not have one that we can send over to our friends and family with some ideas to help make our lives a little bit easier, happier, and even maybe -- pampered!

I thought about things that would make my day smoother and make me smile. It wasn’t easy -- most of what I came up with, were things FOR the family -- I really wanted to find things to take care of just US.

  1. A gift card for a spa treatment.
  2. A gift card for a cleaning of the house
  3. A gift card to the bookstore
  4. A gift card to a local coffee shop
  5. A gift card to a favorite place to eat
  6. A gift card to the movies
  7. A gift card for a manicure
  8. A gift card to a favorite salon

For those who are worried about the costs attached to some of these, I have two options –

1- Your gift card does not have to be the full value of the service/item. Even if it is a portion, it will be one step closer to assuring they get to use it!

2- If spending money is not a possibility, friends and family can create certificates and provide a service to the parents! They can offer to babysit one night or they can provide a meal, etc. There are ways to give, and receive, that will make a difference!

Don’t be afraid to share this; sometimes all we need to do is let others know what we need, as we say so many times to one another -- unless we say it, we can’t expect others to know it.


Carissa Garabedian is the publisher of Know Different and mother to a special needs child in Richmond, Virginia. Carissa also publishes the award-winning Macaroni Kid of Richmond, VA.