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Gift Ideas for a Developmentally Delayed Person

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I am stuck for ideas on what to buy for a 21st birthday present for a disabled girl who is developmentally delayed, physically and intellectually. I don't want to buy anything breakable (especially glass). Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you.

Kat from Australia

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Recent Answers

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By helenRN11/23/2014

How about Gift cards to restaurants, nail salons, zoos, museums, theme parks or other places that the person would enjoy visiting.

By Becky S.12/11/2013

Thank you for these ideas. Perhaps my son would like a digital picture frame where the pictures continue moving when it is turned on. Also, I'm thinking of getting him a "pillow pet" or something like it: a soft pillow with a light in it or that shines on the ceiling when turned on.

By RDAK04/19/2011

I'm sure I am late on this. I too have a mentally & delayed child. Mine is 13 years old & cognitively she is about three. I talked to friends at work as I am a Certified Pediatric Nurse.

What we gave our daughter was MOBIGO a hand held game found in the Children's Toy Dept (not the computer game dept.) We also got the added game Shrek. In this Shrek game was a bowling game in which our daughter has to put her finger on the (touch) screen and slide it down (the screen is showing a rubber band with the bowling ball to be slung like in a sling-shot). Honestly, it is not that complicated. Our daughter cannot play all the games yet, but she loves the praises she get back when she plays it.

Again MOBIGO is a sturdy hand held with a small touch screen and you add games. It also keeps tract of games played if you are a computer person yourself, you go on line & plug in the MOBIGO and collect prizes for them... or not, if you don't want to. I was proud to get something modern as I am in my 50's and she is 13 yrs.

By Liz (Guest Post)02/04/2008

I sent my 29 year old step daughter a balloon in a box and it was a great hit!

By Sarah NY (Guest Post)09/13/2007

My sister in-law is 25 and still she loves the classic Disney Movies. Try a gift Basket filled with one movie theme! Also Harry Potter and fantasy movies can open up a whole world of gift basket ideas

By Marjorie C. Woodworth [82]09/10/2007

You could make her a gift basket full of treats such as cookies, candies, popcorn, pretzels, etc.

I know that she would greatly appreciate it!

Marge from NY

By (Guest Post)09/10/2007

Once again, a huge thankyou to all of you for so kindly taking the time to reply with so many wonderful ideas. I will now be set for many birthdays to come ! Cheers.

By Susan (Guest Post)09/09/2007

I have a 24 year old developmentally delayed son. He loves books that read to him. Depending on how disabled they love money to shop and don't just give large bills we give all one dollar bills. Also most the kids seem to love music how about a portable cd player. Good Luck!

By Dianna bigfootblooper @ yahoo.com (Guest Post)09/08/2007

Here are my ideas as my friend also has slow to mentally challenged individuals in her recreation group.

Games - table to classical size shuffle board / or air hockey (fun and very good for motor skills will also encourage other family members to play with her as a team.

Music - find out what music inspires her and what type of device they use to play it.

Karoke - good but most likely you will get simple stuff and for younger developemental age.

Flowers - for her room something over the door or on the wall is good. I seen this somewhere it is a flower vase made from hard clear plastic with flowers inside and is a light fixture but to me it makes a good night light and will be beautiful.

Really colorful bright throw blanket for winter - let her pick it out. they tend to like something special and it adds to the feeling of security.

Stay away from strob lights of any kind as they can cause seizures.

Find a good center for her to be a member of that will also provide recreation and socialization with other kids her age and her disability. This can be a relief for her parents when they need time out or something for her to go to after school. You can take her for a visit and if it works out you can pay the membership dues for her to join.

My friend started the first one of these centers in Bedford Texas and it is great and non profit too. If you like to know more contact me.

By LorettaB (Guest Post)09/07/2007

Hi, My daughter is developmentally delayed. She just loves jewelry. It needs to be something sturdy, because she isn't too gentle with her jewelry. Hope this helps. Loretta

By Jan (Guest Post)09/07/2007

I would like to add to all the wonderful ideas I have read. I run an Adult Foster Care Home and have done this for years. I do not know of one single female client that would not love a picture of her family if they are the gift giver, or of the friends giving the gift. I also always recommend Nities or pg's, always check to see with their care giver their preference and always make them soft like t-shirt material or flannel.
I also have not met a client that does not enjoy movies, esp. any of the Disney, they are played at my home until they are worn out.

By Hope09/07/2007

I realize that you've already found the perfect gift for this young lady, but you may want to get something for her another day. Depending on her mental/emotional age she would probably enjoy a colorful 'picture' book. If she's not able to take care of a standard book, buy her a board book like The Rainbow Fish. It has gorgeous pictures of fish and other sea creatures. If she is more advanced, she might enjoy a book about her town that she might recognize specific locations/sites. She will be able to visit her special places any time she wants, just by looking at her picture book. The other 'best' gift idea for these wonderful children is puzzles with pieces that are just the right size for her abilities. My aunt was 'delayed' and these things gave her pleasure time after time.

By Rasta (Guest Post)09/07/2007

I used to work with an organization as a volunteer. Some of the Lady clients liked jewelry, simple gig-saw puzzles and crafts, color books and crayons, something sparkley to wear such as a pretty blouse, barretts, perfume and bath things. Talk to the young ladys care giver and maybe she can shed some light on what she is physically able to do or what she seems to enjoy. I truly enjoyed the clients. Our church had parties for the organization 4 times a year and it was a joy to see all 75 of them have a ball. Little things mean alot. Have fun with your special friend and let us know how it went.

By Haley (Guest Post)09/07/2007

Hello,
I see that you already found a gift but I will post this in case anyone else is looking for gift ideas.
I work at a school for the developmentally disabled. I would suggest the following items: cozy fleece blanket, themed bed pillow, stuffed animals, unbreakable frame with picture of people she knows, photo album where pictures can be slipped in, cd's, books, vhs/dvd, watch or braclets, if she has access to a computer: computer games (wheel of fortune is a favorite for all ages and levels, magic school bus, tonka, Finding Nemo etc...), treats, cute socks, hat, hair bows/pony tail holders, drawing supplies, cards (uno, fish etc...) games ( our kids play connect four, yahtzee with help) character toothbrushes, koosh ball, bubbles.

By Kat [1]09/06/2007

Thank you very much for the great ideas you all gave me. After much browsing at the shops, I bought a really pretty, jeweled mobile for her to hang in her bedroom. I really appreciate each of you taking the time to help me out.

By Liz [15]09/05/2007

We have a friend who's similar to yours. I'm not sure that Halloween is quite as big a holiday in Australia as it is in the US, but our friend is crazy over Halloween t-shirts, witch hats, decorations, etc. She also loves a game called Pizza Party, which is easy, but doesn't have a childish theme.
Just like everyone else, disabled people have their own individual interests, so your friend may have different tastes. Lipgloss, handbags/purses, and other grown-up feminine items are usually popular, too.

By Canadian Grandma (Guest Post)09/05/2007

Would the girl like a bright colored stuffed cat, dog, or fuzzy bear to cuddle, or a pretty new quilt? Hope you are able to find just the perfect gift for your special girl.

By pam munro [447]09/05/2007

What is her age intellectually? Gear the present to that age. Perhaps stuffed animals would be nice - or a t-shirt or other piece of colorful clothing. What kind of music does she respond to? a CD? A video? a mobile for above the bed? a nice blanket or quilt?

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