Tag Archives: autism and gifts

get it, got it, good!


At first glance, this just looks like a normal picture…nothing more than a picture. A toss-able one even.  I came across it last week.  Haven’t seen it in years. Oh, but I’ll never forget.

It’s dead-on.

This one is way more than a thousand words people.  This is hard stuff.

His 5th birthday.

I so wanted him to want to open the gift. I tried really hard to get that picture. The one where he is interested, the one where he get’s excited… just one.

There is so much pain there with me looking down.  You can’t really tell… or can you?  I’m trying to keep it together.  I wanted to cry… really hard.  Hysterically, but I kept it together.

He wants to go outside.  I know it.  He doesn’t care about gifts.  I know it.

Birthdays and Christmas’…  I know the drill.

A lot has changed since this picture.  A lot.

It’s still hard. Yes.  And even at nine, I still have to encourage him to open the dadgum gift.

Every year I watch in amazement as his cousin (same age) barrels through his gifts with the wrappings and trimmings flying all over… William’s gifts would still look pristine and intact if I didn’t coerce just a titch.

But, I do know certain gifts he prefers. <converse shoes> always and forever…

They are never really toys.  He doesn’t “play” with toys.

Some of his favorites include plastic spoons, an eraser, and a mangled hairbrush that he has managed to keep for two years now and I am currently contemplating on getting a new one.  Or does the old one carry meaning?… we’ll see. <smile>

When you start realizing what they do like…even if it sounds ridiculous, get it.

When it seems silly and not so age appropriate anymore, get it.

When you can’t think of anything to buy, dig deep for it. It’s there, get it.

There is always something that is of interest. It may not be what you want them to want, but… it’s not about you.

One of my all-time favorite posts is Merry Christmas, Here’s Your Spoon!

It still holds true today on many levels.  You can end some of the pain by digging for what really brings them joy.

These days, we are all about experiences. Trampoline parks, zoo trips, museums of all sorts, and swimming… anything active.

Although it may seem boring to open up a card with an “experience” inside, the smile on his face when we are actually experiencing the preferred above activities is unstoppable.

I’ll be sure to take a picture.  It will look nothing like this one <smile>

Merry Christmas!!

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com


Autism & Presents Don’t Always Mix

Don’t you just hate it when people ask you, “so what do you want for birthday or Christmas?” and you have absolutely no idea what to tell them?

Huh? That’s never happened to you?  That’s a foreign concept to you because you always have an itemized Wish List ready for birthdays and holidays?

I would imagine that many of us have a Wish List or could put one together at a moment’s notice.

I know my 4-year-old daughter has one…that’s for sure.  She wants matching doll and girl clothes, some toy horse, a harmonica, some running shoes…and just about anything else she can think of.  My wife has absolutely no difficulty when relatives or friends inquire about gift ideas for Margaret.

Our son, William, is another story.  William just turned seven in November and here comes Christmas…and he has autism.

It really stresses my wife out during this season when people ask, “what can we get William for a present?”

Why is that so hard?

Because William pretty much doesn’t like presents.  How crazy is that to say about a 7-year-old boy?  But it’s true.  He has his favorites…mini-trampoline (we’ve discussed that previously), he got a po-go stick recently and seems to enjoy that, he loves to climb on the monkey bars (you should see how torn up his hands are), and that’s pretty much it.

We have a closet full of cars, Legos, puzzles, games, animals…all that he will take a look at and maybe will tap-tap-tap on from time-to-time…but he just doesn’t get into presents!

And that’s OKAY.  Parents out there who are in this situation…it’s okay.  Celebrate the items your child likes to play with.  Celebrate if they like odd and strange things more than they like cars and video games.  Celebrate when your child actually finds an object to carry around (William used to carry this car around, didn’t really play with it but just carried it around and pushed the noise button…drove me CRAZY!)  

No…it’s not typical and parents, grandparents, relatives won’t understand.  But who cares.  It’s not about them, it’s not about YOU, it’s about your child.  If your child is happy playing with a paper towel tube, then let them play with a paper towel tube.

We have started getting board games and memory games and things that William likes (enough) but that we can do as a family.  He’ll play for a little while then lose interest and go back to the mini-trampoline…and that’s okay.

So don’t stress…when someone asks, “What can I get your child with autism for a present?” don’t worry about it.  If they need clothes, get them clothes, if they need basic items, have them get the basic items.

Most of all, make sure your child is happy, knows they’re loved, and knows that they are special.


To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com