Thursday 31 January 2019

Four fabulous Valentine's gifts for an Autism mum

Gift selection for an autism mum

It's February and so Valentine's Day draws near.  But you may be surprised to know that spouses and lovers are not the most popular recipients of Valentine's Day cards. Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards and this is followed closely by children, then mothers, wives, sweethearts and finally pets (presumably from other pets I don't know?). 

In some cases perhaps it's because spouses and mums have become difficult to buy for.  As a mum of kids with autism, there are other things I think about when getting cards and gifts.  Will this be safe to have in my house with my kids around? Might it help me improve my mental health or reduce stress? Well here's some absolutely fantastic ideas of things I've received or bought recently that I think would make top gifts for another Autism mum like me.  They range from the lavish to the lovely (and from £5 to £200)

Hot chocolate velvetiser - gift for an autism mum

Hot Chocolate Velvetiser

What is a Velvetiser I hear you say? Well think of the smoothest but thickest wonderful hot chocolate you've ever had.. this is the thing that makes it for you. This kitchen gizmo from Hotel Chocolat makes your hot chocolate 'velvety'.  It's super simple, just add cold milk or milk alternative of your choice to the fill line, pour on the special chocolate flakes of your choice, add the lid and press the button.

It works a bit like a home milk frother if you've ever had one of those. Except of course it doesn't froth, it velvetises!   A few minutes later just pour your ready to drink velvety hot chocolate into a mug and enjoy.

Why does it work for an Autism mum? Well, as I don't add any hot ingredients, I don't have to worry about the kids touching it or spilling it should I turn away.  There's no need to watch milk in a pan or microwave.  It never gets too hot, it's just warms the drink to perfect drinking temperature. It won't function unless it's got cold fluid in it so the kids can't switch it on by accident.  The chocolate flakes come in pre-measured packets so there's no chance of the kids opening up a box and eating or spilling it.  It's also small enough that I can bring it in and out easily.

It gives me a little lap of luxury. A super gift I think.

The Velvetiser is available from Hotel Chocolat from £99.99

 Motiv smart ring - great gift for an autism mum
Motiv (smart) ring

Jewellery has long been a great gift option for sweethearts.  However, it doesn't often fit into my life.  My autistic sons are both sensory seekers. This means they are pretty rough.  Necklaces are often broken and I'm petrified that earrings will get ripped out of my ears! I often still carry my middle son (even though he almost eight) so can't wear anything around my wrists or big rings on my fingers as they will catch on him or me. Despite wanting to find out about things like how well I'm sleeping or steps I'm taking, I've never been able to wear a Fitbit to find out.

But now I don't need to.  This Motiv ring is like a fitness tracker in a simple ring. Not quite as comprehensive as a Fitbit but frees up my wrist for carrying kids and rough play.   Whether I'm out being run around by our dog or out running errands, the Motiv Ring automatically measures all the metrics care about and helps me think about setting some goals for my own fitness, and track my progress.  It works via an app on my iphone and needs charging about twice a week via a clever magnetic USB port.

Why does it work for an Autism mum?  Well, for me, because it's smooth, I'm not worried about it catching on the kids and it comes in colours that can match whatever you usually or would like to wear. I can finally track things like my sleep(lessness) and think about what I could do to feel better whether that's going for more walks or going to bed earlier.  A pretty but practical gift with the only downside being it's price tag.

A Motiv Ring is available from £199.99

Coffeebrewer by Grower's Cup

Coffeebrewer Gift Box

Obviously I love hot chocolate but I guess I'm just not continental enough to have it first thing in the morning.  It's got to be tea or coffee for most I know.  The idea of having a big Nespresso machine on the side has never really appealed to me (one of the reason's I like the Velvetiser is it's easy to put away).  However making nice coffee with a traditional cafetiere isn't an option.  It's just not a safe container to be on the side and I'm petrified of the kids having a food processor splat type moment with hot water if they get their hands of the plunger.  It also involves having packs of ground coffee that are just dying to be spilt everywhere.

Enter the Coffeebrewer by Grower's Cup.  Reusable, sealable bags of perfectly brewed coffee.  The coffee comes in pouches with a selection of pre packed ground coffee inside an internal filter.  You simply pour hot water into the bag and seal it.  A few minutes later you pour it out of it's twist open spout - it makes about two cups.  Once you've enjoyed your lovely cups of filter coffee you can rinse out the bag, let it dry and then add more coffee to use for another day if you like.  I really like that's it's reusable.

Why does it work for an Autism mum? Again it's small enough that I can bring it in and out easily  on a daily basis.  It's easy to use and can be put out of the way when brewing so there's no chance of a child accidentally pushing down a plunger like on a cafetiere/French press.  It makes a great cup of filter coffee - a must some some sleep deprived Autism mums for sure!

Get a Grower's Cup Coffeebrewer box on Amazon for just £15.95

Coffeebrewer Gift box

Epsom Bath Salts

Epsom Bath Salts get their name from a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. Epsom salt is not really a salt but rather a compound of magnesium and sulfate which makes an Epsom salt bath a great way to ease stress, relieve inflammation and promote restful sleep.

To take an Epsom Salts bath just add two cups (about 475 grams) of Epsom salt to your bath and soak your body for at least 15 minutes. You can also put the Epsom salt under running water if you want it to dissolve more quickly.  Although I love getting into a steaming hot bath, it's actually better to have the bath warm, not hot.

Why does it work for an Autism mum? 15 minutes to myself?  Need I say more?  Well, the truth is my life is fairly stressful at the moment.  My body is more physically strained by having to carry kids who are much larger and older than I should. My sleep is awful because it's interrupted by kids with sleeping difficulties. So if an Epsom salt bath is a great way to ease stress, relieve inflammation and promote restful sleep then it's not just a nice way to get 15 minutes to myself.  There is also some suggestion that Epsom bath salts can have similar impacts on people with Autism so it's a good thing to have around too.

Bag a bag from Dignity for just £4.99.

Sometimes as a parent of autistic kids we think about extra things when it comes to what's safe to have in the home and what works in our lives.  Of course, we'd love a day away but that's not aways possible when you have to find someone who can care for a child who is a bit different and needs more support.  What do you think? What might make a good gift for a Autism parent?

I've bought or tried all these ideas with some sent for purpose of review and I'm independently happy to feature them in my editorial.


  1. These are lovely suggestions! I'd quite like the velvetiser, which suprises me in a way as I'm not normally into gadgets. But this seems pretty handy, and hot chocolate can be so relaxing and warming. I also really like Epsom salts, especially to put in my son's bath to increase the chances of a good night's sleep, for both of us :-) xx

  2. That little ring is such a great idea! Sometimes the Fitbit style watches are a bit too chunky for wearing with a smarter outfit, so this ring would be fab for that. Love the sound of a hot chocolate velvetiser - and what a brilliant name for a gadget! #KCACOLS

  3. I didn't realize they made a fitness tracker ring! I have to take my tracker off my wrist at times to work. I think this would work instead. Thanks for the information!

  4. I love the Motiv ring, it's come at a really good time as I'm actually looking for a wedding ring for my hubby, well future hubby. He's a bit resistant about wearing a ring so this could just about swing it because it has a really good functional use! Love it:) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  5. I never would have thought about this so thank you for this post! I now know to put extra thought into gifts for friends and family with autistic little ones. The velvetiser sounds absolutely incredible! xxx #KCACOLS

  6. I would never have thought of things like this. One of my best friends is an autism mum and whilst I always make sure to get gifts her son's would like, I never think about getting things for her like this #kcacols

  7. I love the fitness tracker ring! I did not know this existed. Great ideas!! #KCACOLS

  8. We love hot chocolate in our house right now, so my vote is definitely with the velvetiser! some lovely ideas #KCACOLS


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