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Great Gift Ideas for Adults With ADHD

Jon has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, which explained a lot of his troubles in life and why he is always losing track of time.

Gifts for Adults With ADHD

Finding the best gift for an adult with ADHD can be a challenge. If you want to get him or her a gift that will be appreciated, you will need to think outside the box. The problem is usually that people with ADHD have, in general, slightly different needs when it comes to gifts. To help you pick out a great present, I have made a list of a few great gift ideas for adults with ADHD.

Fidget Toys

Fidget toys are items that generally help people with ADHD regulate their ability to focus on tasks. There is a variety of fidget toys available so you have a decent choice to select from. Keep in mind that the best fidget toy is one that is appropriate for a school or work environment. So large brightly colored toys, while fun, are not really the best choice.

My personal favorite is the fidget cube. It is small, can easily fit in a pocket, and can be used without drawing much attention. They come in a variety of colors and even a few different shapes (they're not all cubes).

Besides the fidget cube, you have a choice of:

  • squishy toys
  • fidget rings
  • magnets
  • the Infinity Cube
  • squeeze balls
  • fidget pens
  • and more

As mentioned, remember to keep in mind the setting that the fidget toy will be used in. For use at home, you can go for louder and more distracting options than you would if it needs to be used at work or at school.

The fidget cube being used in an office. Small and discreet. I would have shown you mine, but I lost it somewhere.

The fidget cube being used in an office. Small and discreet. I would have shown you mine, but I lost it somewhere.

Give the Gift of an Experience

One type of gift almost always goes down well for people with ADHD, the gift of an experience. Be it a wall climbing course, tickets to a cinema movie, a three-course dinner, or canoeing, it will almost certainly be appreciated.

Should the giftee be single you get double points if the gift includes your offer to accompany him or her. This also goes if the giftee's significant other has absolutely no interest in the selected activity. Why you may ask? Because if a person with ADHD gets a gift card of some sort, he or she might find it expired three years later in a pile of socks under the bed (true story). If you offer to go with him or her you can also make sure that the gift is enjoyed.

Some ideas of an experience, in addition to those mentioned before, would be:

  • tickets to the zoo or a trip to a safari park,
  • cooking classes,
  • a trip to the spa,
  • tickets to the theater,
  • escape rooms,
  • photography lessons,
  • painting lessons,
  • or tickets to a racing event.
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Remember that these are just a few tips. You should, of course, tailor the gift in accordance with the ADHDer's interests.

Gift Cards

In some ways, gift cards to stores are the best gift one can give to an ADHDer. We usually have no problem figuring out what we want, so giving one a gift card is usually highly appreciated. Just be sure that the card works at a store the giftee shops at regularly.

Also, offer to go with the ADHDer to the shop in question at some point, or many points. As mentioned before, finding an expired gift card in a pile of socks is disheartening.

Relaxation is a must for any adult with ADHD. A gift that destresses is a great gift.

Relaxation is a must for any adult with ADHD. A gift that destresses is a great gift.

Stuff to Destress

Adults with ADHD are often stressed out and need to find ways to relax. Giving them a way to do so is sure to be appreciated. Some of the ways you can do that are by giving them:

  • a gift card for an hour massage from a professional (not yourself).
  • massage machines which are easy to operate (or complex if the ADHDer is a tech geek),
  • coloring books (the adult versions).
  • aromatherapy pots with scents such as lavender. (Some ADHDers have trouble with smells, so check that first.)
  • anything that you know will relax the one receiving the gift.

Just be sure that it is not something that will inadvertently increase the stress of the ADHDer. For example, if he or she has social anxiety as well as ADHD an hour-long massage session with a stranger is maybe not the best idea.

Adults with ADHD are almost always interested in some hobbies or crafts. Try to find out what it is and tailor the gift to that. Just remember that their current favorite hobby might become something else in a few weeks, so don't be hurt if that happens. Besides, we also have a tendency to rotate hobbies, which means that your gift will again come in handy at some future point.

Making icecream used to be one of my hobbies. This bad boy is now in the storage, ready to be used again later.

Making icecream used to be one of my hobbies. This bad boy is now in the storage, ready to be used again later.

Other Gift Ideas for an Adult With ADHD

  1. A slow cooker like the Instant Pot. Being able to fill a pot with edible stuff and set a timer is the simplest way to make a hearty homemade meal. And simple is appreciated.
  2. Audiobooks, perhaps a subscription to Audible. For some ADHDers, reading is a challenge, but we sometimes find it easier to listen to stories.
  3. And in lieu of audiobooks . . . headphones. Good headphones are a must for an adult with ADHD. I own $200 noise-canceling headphones that I use at work; it's that important to me. Sometimes I even play music on them.
  4. Tile. It's a cool way to find lost stuff with your phone, assuming the phone is not lost. I got them for my wife because she is always losing her keys. They work.
  5. Good pens and notebooks. Adults with ADHD are often scribbling and also need a system to remember things, like writing them down. But keep in mind that expensive does not equal good for us. ADHDers would usually prefer a good cheap pen to some expensive ballpen, as losing the expensive pen becomes a stress factor for us.
  6. Timers are another great gift for an adult with ADHD. Especially if they are unusual. They help us keep time, which is super important when you need to be an adult.
  7. Erasable food labels. I can't remember how many times I have thrown away perfectly good leftovers because I couldn't remember when I made them. And found mold in some others that I forgot where in the refrigerator. A label that I could erase from and didn't get ruined in the dishwasher was a godsend.

So that's it for now, and I hope you found a great gift idea for your ADHDer from this list. If you have any other great ideas, then please write them in the comments below—everything helps.

© 2018 Jon Sigurdsson

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