BHW Wishes you a Happy Early Thanksgiving with These Helpful Tips
Thanksgiving is a holiday where we reflect with our loved ones on how much we have to be thankful for. Not only do we have the opportunity to cook and share our best dishes, we also get to spend time with our friends/family, and also take these next few days to pause and realize how far we’ve gone this year and perhaps remind ourselves of a few good things that came along the way. And during this time, we can quickly get caught up with the food, noise, fun and laughter so we’d like to provide a few quick tips to help children on the autism spectrum minimize their sensory overload this Thanksgiving:
Decorate the House:
- Decorate your home in gradual stages rather than doing everything all at once. This will allow your child to get adjusted to the flashing lights or musical decorations which can be disturbing for some children.
- Consider minimizing the table decor including scented candles. Thanksgiving is filled with a variety of sweet and savory aromas but these additional smells might be a little too much for your child to handle.
Family Routines: It takes more than just turkey and stuffing to make this an amazing Thanksgiving. To make this a smooth and fun holiday at the same time, it is best to get every family member on the same page.
- Meet as a family to discuss how to minimize disruptions and establish routines on how to support positive behavior when disruptions are unavoidable.
- Talk with your family about keeping conversations, music, and TV volume at an appropriate level. Providing your child with noise canceling headphones might help minimize a sudden noise and unexpected sounds.
- Create a quiet room where your child can relax while they wait for the Thanksgiving feast.
- Provide them a visual schedule or social stories to prepare them for Thanksgiving.
Dinner: Now for the main course! Here are some general tips so that you can have an enjoyable meal with your child.
- If you are concerned that your child is going to fill up on snacks and appetizers prior to the meal, consider moving these treats out of sight.
- Once dinner is ready, remember that the variety and abundance of different foods and smells can be overwhelming for your child. This can lead to overeating. To minimize this, we recommend that you provide your child with small plates and small portions of food.
- If your child is having difficulty controlling their impulse to grab food, consider sitting them next to you. We encourage that you support and reinforce appropriate table manners.
To learn more tips for this holiday season Click Here.
To view a teaching story to help prepare for Thanksgiving, Click Here