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Gift Ideas for Children Who Have Special Needs

Minnesota Twins players give a gift to a Gillette Children's patient.

Finding the perfect gift isn’t easy—and when you’re shopping for children and young adults who have sensory issues, physical disabilities or other special needs, it can prove even more challenging. This holiday season, Gillette Children's is providing suggestions and resources to help you find inclusive gifts for anyone on your list.

1. Cat & Jack Clothing

Cat & Jack is an adaptive clothing line at Target that is designed for all children, from infants to young adults, of all ability levels. You can find stylish pieces free of seams and tags, jackets with removable sleeves, and clothing with side openings.

2. Winter Helmets

Winter helmets are an important and often overlooked necessity if your child is involved in outdoor activities. Gillette Children's pediatric neurosurgeon, Peter Kim, MD has seen and treated the injuries that can result from a winter sports accident.

“I think a lot of parents have gotten wise to making sure their kids are wearing a helmet while biking, rollerblading, skiing or snowboarding, but there’s something about sledding that seems so innocent,” Dr. Kim says. “If we’re talking about the type of sledding you do in your backyard, that’s one thing. But on large, icy hills, or on any hill with trees, the risks are quite similar to those of downhill skiing.”

Help protect the head and brain of a child you care about with a proper winter helmet.

Gillette Children's physicians, Deborah Bohn, MD and Ann Van Heest, MD are the authors of Proud to Be Me.

Gillette Children's physicians, Deborah Bohn, MD and Ann Van Heest, MD are the authors of Proud to Be Me.

3. Gillette Children's Healthcare Press Books

Gillette Children's Healthcare Press is dedicated to creating greater understanding of complex medical conditions. Proud To Be Me is a colorful board book for toddlers written by two Gillette Children's physicians (and Polly Daktilly!) The book promotes self-confidence and teaches children to love and accept themselves for who they are.

It's Okay to Ask!  is another Gillette Children's Healthcare Press book written by experts and illustrated by Twin Cities artist Nancy Carlson. The book introduces five children who have disabilities or complex medical conditions. As you get to know the characters in the book you discover that everyone is more alike than you might think. It's Okay to Ask! is also available in a Spanish Edition.

Pure Grit: Stories of Remarkable People Living with Physical Disability profiles 19 people from across the globe who share their stories of living and thriving in diverse fields such as; sports, the arts, medicine, business, and more. The book is written by Gillette parent Lily Collison and Kara Buckley, a senior advisor to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

4. Fat Brain Toys Special Needs Resource Center

Fat Brain Toys has its own Special Needs Resource Center that offers information on developmentally appropriate toys, games and tools.  You can find products specific to developmental goals, or conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida and hydrocephalus (and many more), along with useful tips for playtime.

Try to remember that spending time together or sharing a new experience can be the best gift of all. Happy holidays!

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