Christmastime. Hearing that word makes me both giddy with joy and overwhelmed. I love Christmas traditions being with family but I hate trying to come up with present ideas. If you’re anything like me, it would be great if the universe provided very specific gift lists catered to Retired Army Man That Is A Workaholic or Mother-in-law That Basically Has Everything Already or Sister Who Hoards Christmas Presents And Never Uses Them.
Well, for your convenience, I have come up with a specific gift list geared toward Your Lady On the Autism Spectrum. Here are some items I came up with that I feel are great for a woman on the high functioning autism spectrum:
1) Sequins! My favorite item I purchased for myself was a pillow covered in reversible sequins. Obviously a pillow won’t fit into a stocking! I’ve seen some fun cell phone cases and stress balls covered in sequins that would make a great stocking stuffer. Sequins become a great stimming tool for me. I like the way it feels when the sequins change different directions under my hand and I also like that you can “draw” a picture in the sequins with your fingers and then erase it. Also, since the sequins are reversible, the pillow I have changes colors based on which side the sequins are facing.
2) Peanut Butter! I know you’re probably thinking “Peanut butter, really? That’s weird.” Bear with me. Most autistic people have a favorite food or treat they “must” eat at least once a day. Mine is Creamy Jiff peanut butter. Pop your autie’s favorite treat into their stocking and they will be forever thankful, trust me.
3) Essential Oils. One way I calm myself down after a long day or from a hard meltdown is through using essential oils. I have a hard time falling asleep and I use lavender oils to help me fall asleep. My favorite brands are DoTerra or Young Living Essential Oils.
4) Stencils. I’ve really gotten into bullet journaling. It helps me to calm down and set some goals to work through meltdowns or hard situations. I’m not an artist by any means so stencils help me when I want to make my journal entry look a little bit more neat and exciting.
5) Lessons/Sessions/Memberships. One of the tools I use to live in harmony with my autism is through exercise and meditation. The forms of exercise that I have found that work best for me are POUNDFit, yoga, and Rising Phoenix Yoga Therapy. If you know what your autie likes, get what suits her best. If you need suggestions, I’ll provide both the website you can find these places in the Oklahoma City metro and you can search for a class near you:
OKC Metro: Ariel Cullison at The Wherehouse
Near You: https://poundfit.com/find-a-class/
OKC Metro: YogaLab
Near You: If you don’t have access to a yoga studio near you, you can utilize DVD’s, YouTube, or books. However, I find a class helps me to receive expert advice if I have questions or need help, and I feel more focused in an actual studio setting.
Rising Phoenix Yoga Therapy:
OKC Metro: Sarah Bustamante
Near You: http://pryt.com/pryt-directory/
6) Shipt membership. One of the things I loathe doing is grocery shopping. I try and do most of my shopping at Target but I usually have to go to Walmart or my local grocery store for lower prices and more variety. I could list all of the reasons why I don’t enjoy Walmart, so just trust me that I don’t like the environment there. With that being said, I’ve heard Shipt is a great service that allows others to do the shopping for you AND deliver it to your home! This is great idea and any autie would be ecstastic to find a Shipt membership as a stocking stuffer this year.
7) Gnome. Most auties have something they are obsessed over and like to collect. My obsessions are gnomes and also Willow Tree Collectibles. I usually remember who gave me which gnome and I name them. Get your autie their favorite collectible item to add to their collection and they’ll be ecstatic!
8) Earrings & nail polish. One of my favorite things I do to feel beautiful is to wear my favorite shade of nail polish or put on a favorite pair of stud earrings. I’m not a fan of dangling earrings so that’s why I specified the stud earrings, simple yet beautiful. I really like the Essie gel setter top coat because it feels and lasts just as long as gel/shellac manicures you can get done at the nail salon. Also, you don’t have to worry about the UV lights used. I found a cute shop named AspieNailPolish that donates a portion of their earnings to Autism Speaks.
9) iTunes gift card. You’re probably thinking, “Why would you put this as a suggestion? This is a pretty generic gift!” Yes, it is generic, but hear me out. I use certain apps to help with stimming, especially if I’m in a public place. My favorite game is Best Fiends, for example. I really want to upgrade certain Fiends for my silly game.
Also, there are other apps and tools that are great for us on the spectrum that usually require a one-time purchase. Or, you know, we could just buy that new Taylor Swift album we’ve had our eye on!
10) Autism awareness gear. This year has been a crazy one for me. I’ve had an amazing journey of coming to terms and accepting my autism diagnosis. All in all, I’m pretty proud to be an autie and want to spread awareness for others on the spectrum. Something like this necklace or this cute enamel pin from my favorite shop would be a great gift.
There you have it, some creative, fun suggestions that is sure to make your lady smile as she digs through her stocking this holiday season. Merry Christmas!