Giving Gifts to Children with ADHD

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • It's that time of year again, there is only a few weeks left until the holiday and if you haven't yet bought all the gifts on your list, you might soon begin the last minute panic. For the children with ADHD in your life, you may be wondering what makes a perfect gift. Penny Williams, blogger at "A Mom's View of ADHD" reminds parents that:

    "A child with ADHD is often easily frustrated and doesn't typically have the skills to manage that frustration appropriately. Be sure you choose toys, games and art kits that your child will have success with. Also, be sure they are gifts your child can use right away - consider the need for batteries or other accessories, especially if you are going to be away from home when the gifts are unveiled."

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    Using Multiple Intelligence


    Keeping in mind the gift recipient's interests and unique perspective of the world takes a little work, but is worth it in the end. In a previous post, I explained how using multiple intelligence can help you find the perfect gift. Dr. Howard Gardner believed there were eight different types of intelligence:

    • Nature smart
    • Logic smart
    • Picture smart
    • Music smart
    • Word smart
    • Body smart
    • People smart
    • Self smart

    Using the person's outlook and learning style can help you find the perfect gift. In the post, I offer ideas for combining the concept of multiple intelligence with personal interests.


    Focus on the Child


    Expert Terry Matlen, in a post, "Gift Giving and ADHD: Baseballs or Barbies?" reminds us that it is important to keep in mind what the child will like instead of focusing on some area you want to improve; in other words, Terry writes, "Emphasize their strengths rather than reminding them of their challenges." Even so, she points out that it is possible to give gifts that help to improve skills, for example, for the child who likes sports but doesn't like to read, buy a book about a favorite sports figure or for the child with fine motor issues, try art supplies or modeling clay but focus on the process of creating rather than the final outcome.


    More Gift Ideas


    Our expert, Merely Me, previously put together a list of gift ideas that are fun but can also help to manage symptoms of ADHD. For example, for hyperactivity, Merely Me suggests a mini-trampoline or an exercise ball. She also offers ideas for presents that are indestructible for the rather rambunctious child and gifts for those who are always fidgeting.


    The Best Gift of All


    Penny ("A Mom's View of ADHD") suggests that in addition to gifts, parents need to "Plan plenty of down time too. Holiday schedules, despite being out of school, are often very hectic and unpredictable. Discuss the upcoming schedule with your ADHD child at the start of each day and warn them in advance if there will be a change in plans."


    Most important, she reminds us, "Overall, the best advice for a successful holiday with an ADHD child is to just allow them to be themselves and remember to forgive that which is their nature and outside of their control. If they wake in the middle of the night and begin opening presents by themselves, redirect instead of punish. Don't let ADHD ruin your holiday. Instead, be sure to let your child know how thankful you are to have them in your life, show your gratitude for their abilities, and forgive that which they have no control over. Above all, there's no greater gift you can give them but LOVE."


Published On: December 12, 2011