Autism During the Holidays:
The holiday season is just around the corner! You are likely feel worried and concerned how your
child may function during the social upcoming activities. A child with this condition often feels overwhelmed by social interactions, overstimulating environments, and may have frequent meltdowns when out of typical routine. Although the holiday season is meant to be a relaxing, exciting time of year it may be just the opposite when having concerns for your child with Autism. Instead of avoiding holiday parties or leaving them early after a meltdown, there are a variety of things you can try to better ease your child into the holiday season and prepare them for this busy time of year filled with socializing and crowded, loud environments.
Interested In More Techniques To Support Your Child?
Here are some related blog articles that we believe would be helpful:
- 9 Ideas to Support People With Autism [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Benefits of Therapy Dogs For Children With Autism [SLIDESHARE]
- Can Someone With Autism Spectrum Disorder Still Lead A Successful Life? [VIDEO]
Pre-holiday Party Prep Tips
- Engage your child in bedtime stories (or social stories) that focus on how to appropriately behave at holiday parties
- Purchase headphones to play calming music or noise cancellation headphones to allow your child to wear at holiday parties that may be loud and overstimulating
- Engage your child in holiday baking activities that allow for “tactile” or “touch” sensory experiences such as rolling cookie dough into balls or cookie decorating with icing and sprinkles
- Buy plates that have sections so unfamiliar foods do not touch during holiday feasts
- Engage in a heavy work task for calming sensory input such as carrying presents from upstairs to put under the tree or assist in raking leaves outside
Party Meltdown Tips
Would you like some practical sensory coping strategies to use during the holidays?
The following brief but festive slideshare gives you just that and more:
- Ideas on creating a sensory friendly environment
- A thorough brushing protocol
More Tips for Parents to Use:
- Redirect your child to a quieter, calm area with visual stimulation (such as holiday lights that change color, or sparkling lighted decorations)
- Take a holiday “breather” outside and have your child take calming deep breaths and watch their own breath in the cold winter air
- Allow your child a sensory break to jump into piles of wrapping and tissue paper or a pile of leaves to safe crash