fbpx
Skip to content

Sensory Gift Ideas for Those With Neurodivergent Brains

  • Articles
Toys for kids

If you have a friend or family member who has ADHD, autism or other neurodivergent condition that causes a person’s brain to work a bit differently, you might be wondering what products, and holiday gifts, have been created with this population in mind. Below is an introduction to some common items available to help with the sensory challenges that many different learners face.

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are perhaps the best known of the fidget toys and the product that started the fidget trend. These spinners can help those with autism who are experiencing sensory overload, but are also ideal for those with ADHD or anxiety issues. There are styles for both children and adults, and a wide range of colors and materials are available.

Sand, Slime and Putty

Sand, slime and putty all provide important sensory stimulation but also help to develop fine motor skills, which can sometimes be lacking in neurodivergent children. These substances can be used by themselves or as part of other games or activities. They come in different colors and scents to further engage a child’s senses.

Chewelry

This new term describes items that can provide important oral stimulation for teens and adults with ADHD, autism or other sensory issues. The products allow for that stimulation in a way that is discreet or socially acceptable. Chewable jewelry is made to be stylish or fashionable and can be constructed from a variety of materials, including silicone and braided cloth or rope. These chewables help to deal with sensory overload or to relieve boredom or anxiety.

Popper Toys

Popper toys can also provide opportunities for sensory play for adults, teens and children. They are portable, easy to clean, and are not too loud for those who are noise sensitive. People with autism or ADHD or other conditions can find the popping, squishing motions relaxing. There are many colors and styles to choose from. Amazon.com carries a wide variety of these toys.

Weighted Vests and Blankets

Weighted items such as vests and blankets are becoming increasingly popular, often recommended by therapists and special education teachers across the country. These items provide what is called “proprioceptive input” — which helps a person understand where their body is in space. Weighted vests and blankets provide deep pressure to a person’s joints and muscles, and can be calming and relaxing for many with ADHD and autism. Studies have also shown these products help with mental skills like focus and attention — something many neurodivergent individuals struggle with. People use compression vests, which provide deep pressure but without the weight, for a similar purpose.

Sensory Mats

These mats come in a wide range of textures. Children are able to explore them with their hands or feet. The textures are meant to help neurodivergent children engage their senses in a playful and relaxed way. The mats also help special needs children manage sensory input in an acceptable way.

Sensory Stickers

Similar to sensory mats, but smaller, portable and more discrete, these stickers come in a variety of textures. They can be stroked, scratched or scraped to provide sensory stimulation — without it being noticeable or distracting to others. These are inexpensive, come in a variety of styles and colors, and often have affirmations written on them to further induce a calming effect.

•••

There are many toys and sensory items that can help people deal with symptoms of their ADHD, autism or other neurodivergent condition. These items can help relieve anxiety, provide sensory stimulation and improve concentration and focus. They are great ideas for meaningful gift-giving.

Below are some resources offering more information on some of these sensory gifts. (These are only a handful of possible resources; ADHD Online does not recommend products and is not compensated in any way for providing this information):

Autism Parenting Magazine

Carmen B. Springee Autism Center of Learning

The Ability Toolbox

Chewelry: Stylish Sensory Chew Jewelry for Adults with Autism and ADHD

ADHD Online will be closed on January 16 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. 

Live support will be unavailable on Monday, January 16. Send us an email or leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible when we return on Tuesday, January 17.

Please note that each clinician sets their holiday hours and may be processing your requests during this time or they may be out as well.

As always, you can still take our assessment at anytime online, whenever and wherever is best for you. 

ADHD Online corporate offices will be closed on December 23, 26, and on Monday, January 2 in observance of the holidays.

As always, you can still take our assessment at any time online, whenever and wherever is best for you.

Please note that each clinician sets their holiday hours and may be processing your requests during this time or they may be out as well.

Happy Holidays from the team at ADHD Online!

Our ADHD Online corporate office will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 so our employees can enjoy this special time with their families. 

As always, you can still take our assessment at any time online, whenever and wherever is best for you.

Please note that each clinician sets their own holiday hours and may be processing your requests during this time or they may be out as well.

We will resume normal business hours Monday, November 28. Thank you for your understanding and patience as our staff enjoys time with family to celebrate the Holiday.

Behavioral Therapy

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Missouri
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Assessments

Assessment services are available in all 50 states.

Assessment and Treatment Plan Development & Implementation**

The patient completes our asynchronous assessment and receives the report from a doctorate-level psychologist within 3-5 days.

The patient schedules an initial appointment with one of our providers to develop a treatment plan through a secure virtual appointment.

The patient schedules subsequent follow-up visits with our providers for ADHD medical treatment or behavioral therapy.

**If available in your state

Assessment and
Treatment Plan Development**

The patient completes our asynchronous assessment and receives the report from a doctorate-level psychologist within 3-5 days.

The patient schedules an initial appointment with one of our providers to develop a treatment plan through a secure virtual appointment. We provide you and your patient with a copy of our full report. You take it from there.

**If available in your state

Assessment

The patient completes our asynchronous assessment and receives the report from a doctorate-level psychologist within 3-5 days.

We provide you and your patient with a copy of our full report. You take it from there.

Assessments available in:

All 50 states

Medical Treatment available in:

Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky

Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Carolina
Ohio

Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina*
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington, DC
Wisconsin

Teletherapy available in:

Georgia 
Michigan 
Missouri 
New Jersey 

Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Virginia


*Prescriptions via telemedicine for Schedule II (stimulants) medications are not permitted by state law in South Carolina. Patients can receive prescriptions from our providers for non-stimulant medications. 

south carolina

Prescriptions via telemedicine for Schedule II (stimulants) medications are not permitted by state law in South Carolina. Patients can receive prescriptions from our providers for non-stimulant medications.