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Whether providing telehealth services, or medically-necessary in-person services, special needs care providers are the heroes of these times for many autism families. This gift guide for special needs care providers is especially needed this year.
Do you need a gift guide for special needs care providers?
If you have a special needs child, then you probably have a team of people to shop for each holiday season. Mr. Diggy’s classroom team alone is usually around ten people, never mind the slew of folks who support him and our family outside of school. Depending on the role the person plays on your team, as well as the number of people you are shopping for, you can do one or several of these.
If you are overwhelmed at the thought of shopping for this extended care team, then that’s why you need a gift guide for special needs care providers. After reading this guide, you’ll have some surefire ideas for holiday shopping success – and you’ll want to keep this list handy for birthdays, staff appreciation week and the end of the school year as well.
Trader Joe’s – Treats or Gift Cards
If you live in a region served by Trader Joe’s then this is a no-brainer option for your gift guide for special needs care providers. You can put together a gift basket of some of your favorites (remember ANYTHING can be returned to Trader Joe’s if the recipient doesn’t like it). Or you can go for the gift card.
I like the Trader Joe’s gift card for the simple reason that it can be as practical – or as frivolous – as the recipient would like it to be. A week’s worth of salads for your work fridge? Sure. Or a bottle of wine and a sweet treat? Yep. Flowers and coffee? Of course. The options are pretty much endless.
Don’t live in the land of Trader Joe’s? Then this is an even more special option. Load up on some (travel-friendly) treats the next time you are out of town, and surprise them. (We have taken Trader Joe’s treats to Hawaii on several occasions, with a great response. Despite the Aloha-wear worn by employees, it is a state that is not currently served by Joe.)
Massage Gift Certificate
Yes, I know, a gift certificate for a typical massage can run a hundred dollars or more – which may be the right fit for you if you have a small team. But this can also be done on a smaller scale. We have a nearby salon that offers seated head/shoulder/neck massages for one dollar per minute. Which means you can buy several ten dollar gift cards and put a dent in the tension headaches for a larger crew. If you find a similar set up, you can add this to your gift guide for special needs care providers.
Gift Card for a Coffee Lunch Stop near your House/School/Therapy Center
For home-based therapies, your home is your team’s “office” so just think about what is on the way in or out of your neighborhood that might be a welcome treat for that part of your team. If your school or therapy center is walking-distance to anything, then a gift card or certificate for that establishment is always appreciated.
If your child is able to make a card or drawing or other craft, then that is a great plan. If not, consider a treat like one of these quick breads, or a batch of these cookies. A homemade gift can speak the love and appreciation that your special needs child may or may not be able to articulate easily and clearly.
Special needs care providers are disproportionately women. Your special needs care team works just as hard as you do – and often they have just as little down time. There is nothing like a fresh manicure, at home, in under ten minutes to brighten their day. So many options to choose from – you’ll be sure to find just the right one. You can also look for at-home facial treatments, hand or foot “masks,” or scented lotions.
What’s in your gift guide for special needs care providers? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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