RE: 4 Year Old Nephew Savant Christmas Gift.....

Updated on October 13, 2010
A.J. asks from Redlands, CA
10 answers

I am struggling with finding a christmas gift for my 4 year old 2nd cousin, who is an Autistic Savant. He has been reading chapter books since 2.5, and is really into letters and books. My mom got him a cool pirate boat last year and he didn't even open the package. But she also got him a little ball with letters on it and he LOVED it. He is seeking early intervention so has improved on trying new things...but obviously is so into letters, reading and words. He is an avid Scrabble player that I can't even compete with...

With that said anyone have any cool gift ideas. I wanted to try to find something meaningful, this would be the first time we will meet this lil' guy in person, and I am so excited. I thought about making a quilt or blanket of some sort with either words or letters on it. But have no clue where to start or if its something he'd be into.

any cool games or toys that is unique that someone might know of? I'm also not too familiar with this type of disorder so I don't want to upset him any, or make him feel uncomfortable. Do you think its too inappropriate to say get a gift card and let him pick something out HE really wants?? Any suggestions welcomed


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So What Happened?

Oooh Thank you, thank you, thank you...Great ideas and websites. I hope I can find something he really likes, and it shouldn't hard with all these suggestions.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Does he have a really nice scrabble game? I mean, there are the ones that we grew up with, and then there are the "designer" type that are REALLY nice, and the letters don't slide all around if the board gets bumped. (Might be a plus if he has issues with 'orderliness'). Or maybe you could get him an official Scrabble dictionary.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Columbus on

Get him a dictionary, or an encyclepedia, or any "fact" book. Kids on the spectrum may have a very intesnse interest in something, and if his is just letters, or langague, you might get him books about codes, writing secret codes, or a langauge with a differnet alphebet. Non fiction is going to be the best choice. He probably won't care about a blanket or a toy, but ask, because he may like to collect something, like a particular figureine or card based games like pokemon or yugioh, which are popular with this population.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

What about a set of classic books? Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, etc? He'd have them forever. Or a book of the month club membership?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Google Froebel and check out their site. I really love their inspired toys. We picked up a set of small Froeble blocks for our 3.5 year old son; this set in particular is small and comes in a box. Our set is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie House, and comes with directions for building it; we just encourage our son to do basic building with his and don't have a specific end product. Another neat thing about this 'toy' is that because it's portable, it can go out with you, and is something other adults, I've discovered, like to play with too.

As a preschool teacher, I've noticed that there's something very welcoming about blocks to children. Little blocks also feel safe to experiment with for some kids, because if they come crashing down, it's not as dramatic. Our little boy loves these blocks and will sit for 20 minutes or more to play and explore with them.

Good luck on whatever you choose. I'll be curious to see what other mom's recommend.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think just using letters as a motif might be confusing. He gets off on making order out of the letters. Maybe just keep it simple, give several games - like Boggle, jenga, and UNO. My experience working with autistic kids is that order and schedule mean everything. The experts had us do everything the same way in the same order everyday. We would play uno at the same time every day and if we didn't all hell would break loose - meltdowns all over the place! The kids could really get into putting the like colors and numbers together. So, maybe a game chest full of old faves. I bet he would also like a hand held electronic word game that has scrabble, as well as some others. He might like the challenge of playing the machine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I really like the idea of making him a quilt or blanket with letters - maybe something patchwork or with hidden words in it to find.

I don't know if he can write, but if he can, a book of crossword puzzles and word searches might be fun for him.

I also sell Discovery Toys and there are a couple of books he might really enjoy. Each one has hidden pictures and each page leads up to a mystery to solve at the end:

One Odd Old Owl:

Puzzle Island:

We also sell a few very fun word games - they are actually fun for adults too - that I think he will enjoy:

Wiz Kidz:

Word Flip:

Speed Wiz:

You can view all of my toys at


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Go to and look at what they offer with words and letters -maybe on the elementary level. He would probably LOVE Bananagrams if he loves Scrabble. Check it out!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What about heading to the local fabric store and looking for some fleece fabric with letters all over it? You can make this into a tie blanket with adding a solid color on the back. It might be a good idea also to ask his parents what stores they shop at for him, this might point you in the correct direction. Or if that isn't an option how about a chalk board so he can write words?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Check out:
Toys R Us has a selection for differently abled children.
Since he likes likes letters, maybe a custom puzzle with his name or the alphabet on it - That's not the only site - if you google Custom Puzzles there are a lot of options.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

Could you do the quilt and have removable letter blocks that velco into different places?

1 mom found this helpful
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