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We’ve all seen so many lists out there of gifts for children with disabilities. They’re great lists, and much needed and appreciated because sometimes kids with special needs can be tough to shop for. Still, I’ve found that sometimes there’s another group of people who are equally as hard to shop for: their parents!

We’ve compiled a list of ten great gifts for parents of kids with special needs, but we think almost any parent you know would happily accept these things!

1. Subscription music service!

Give the gift of a subscription to a streaming music service like Spotify or Rdio so they can discover and to listen to their own music! Or an iTunes gift card so they can buy their own music!




2. A new pair of headphones.

…to listen to that music, or maybe just to drown out the sound of Thomas the Tank Engine playing in the background (I’m speaking from personal experience here!)

3. A spa service.

What parent doesn’t crave a nice massage? Most don’t even care if it’s a Swedish, Thai, deep tissue massage, or even just a foot massage! Getting an hour to spend in a spa sounds heavenly! There are always great spa deals on Groupon!


4. Childcare/respite.

Offer to take the kids for the afternoon or an evening so the parents can go on a date!

5. Make the family a meal.

Ok, this might end up being two meals since it’s pretty rare that all members of a family will eat the same thing! Ordering take out or preparing a homecooked meal gives parents the night off from having to figure it all out themselves, and that is definitely a gift!

6. ______ of the month club.

The options are pretty open. There’s wine of the month, cookies of the month, books of the month, snacks of the month, even tampons of the month (hey, it’s one less thing to have to think about!)

cookies of the month


7. Cleaning service.

I’m not talking about once a week or even once a month. Even a ONE TIME cleaning service or carpet cleaning are awesome gifts for parents of kids with special needs!


8. Coffee Subscription.

Seriously, many of us run on this stuff! Someone got me this as a wedding gift, and it was definitely one of the best gifts ever!


9. Peace of mind.

I’d be remiss to not mention this one. This holiday season, give a mom or dad in your life a full year of Birdhouse Premium– something that will reduce their stress & drastically improve their quality of life. Birdhouse for Autism allows parents to keep track of their child’s daily activities: meds, moods, diet, therapy, sleep, poop, etc. all in one place, in an app on their phone! Knowing all the information is safe, secure, and can be easily referenced gives parents more time to enjoy the important things- like their exceptional kiddos. And perhaps their new coffee subscription!

10. Nap pass.

This one’s free! Simply watch the kids while the parents do something totally unheard of in their day-to-day lives…. take a nap!

Dani Gillman is Cofounder and Head of Marketing at Birdhouse– a Detroit-based startup empowering parents raising children with special needs to learn more about their children through a behavior journaling app for iPhone, Android and the web. She’s also mom to a 10 year old daughter (who happens to have Autism) and a 1 year old son (who has yet to appreciate the value of naps).

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