I have a (recently) 12 year old grandson who is also autistic. You are right. It is so difficult to know what is an appropriate gift for him. I keep in touch with my son and his wife. Like this Christmas I got him the new woody "Hawaii" doll as he has continued to be a big toy story fan for many years. That's something for him to open. Then also a iTunes gift card so that they can get iPad programs aimed towards autistic children.