I get lots of requests for autism gift ideas. Don't laugh at this one.
Parents quickly think of noise. But musical instruments offer a great opportunity to teach many skills. Counting, rhythm, listening, imitation, motor skills, joining in, establishing attention plus many, many more.
There is more to life than technology
Music is a great choice.
Musical instruments as an autism gift idea offer the opportunity to create a family or group activity. This provides an opportunity to do something WITH your child that doesn't feel like sitting at a table and doing "work."
Just turn on some music and follow the beat. It can be that simple. Of course, you can get more involved depending on your child and your own musical skill level.
Older students may need something different
A simple set like this might generate a lot of interest from an older elementary or teen.
How do you choose?
Here are some simple guidelines.
- Age and skill level - look for a good match
- Safety -Choose size of objects to match the child's age and ability level. Those who put things in their mouths don't do well with small pieces.
- Durability - Wooden instruments won't break easily. You don't want flimsy items.
- Variety - Some children would respond better to one or two instruments. Others may benefit from a set of several choices. (If you get a set, you can always put some of them away to save for later.)
The Children's Museum Easton posted an article recently which lists benefits of drumming including focusing attention, concentration, math skills, left-right brain development and even overall physical fitness.
And one more thing!
Keep in mind that you'll probably need to TEACH some techniques and some rules related to musical instruments. That's OK.
Musical instruments offer an opportunity for engaging and playing together with a child. They can spark a non-technology interest. Drums or musical instruments can be a great autism gift idea.
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