New Focus Academy’s Holiday Gift Guide for Teens on the Spectrum

New Focus Academy’s Holiday Gift Guide for Teens on the Spectrum



While the holidays can be a celebratory and social time for families with teens on the spectrum, it can also be a time of stress and meltdowns for families. It is important to keep in mind what the holidays truly mean for your family, and how to manage the expectations from your child surrounding giving and receiving gifts.

It is not uncommon for teens on the autism spectrum or with neurodevelopmental disorders to build up high expectations for the holidays and the gifts they want to receive. Some will still even believe in Santa and build this day up in their minds. If this is the case for your family, it is important to remember that you can still be thoughtful in your gift giving without having to overspend or get them every gift they may have asked for.

This is not a time to feel guilty, but rather a time to appropriately manage the emotions and expectations surrounding the holiday season to avoid meltdowns, tantrums, or other emotional outbursts so that the day aligns with what really matters to your family.

Being thoughtful in giving gifts to your teen on the spectrum will only help them to better understand and manage their own emotions and behaviors for personal growth. For example, instead of giving gifts this year that your child wants, try giving them a gift that they actually need. Families should consider focusing less on gifts and more on opportunities to have fun with their kids.


Gifting Ideas For The Holiday Season


Here are some simple, great gifting ideas for teenagers on the autism spectrum for parents to consider:

  1. Practical Gifts: Something they will use everyday such as shoes, clothing, etc.
  2. Educational Gifts: Gifts that are fun, but will also help them learn. Some examples would be books, science kits, robotics lab, Construction Toys
  3. Family Service Project: Giving your child an opportunity to help others. For this idea, your family could do something like pick and wrap gifts for Toy Drives
  4. Game Gifts: Get your child a board or card game that they can play with family members. This can help everyone build relationships, bond, and learn together. Steer clear of video games!
  5. Fun Gift: A Gift that allows them to be a kid! Something simple and engaging that they can play with to let loose.


New Focus Academy is Here for your Family

New Focus Academy works with adolescent boys, ages 12-18. Our students often struggle to form relationships with peers and lack the ability to organize their daily lives. Due to these challenges, our students frequently feel a persistent failure and lack of confidence.

At New Focus, we use a relationship-based, clinically-sophisticated program to create practical life skills in our students. Our students become more self-reliant, resilient, and socially connected. For each of our students, we provide a well-defined plan and purpose to gain confidence, build relationships, and overcome challenges.

For more information about how we help at New Focus Academy, visit our website today at or call (844) 313-6749.

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