Tips to Help Kiddos with Autism Have a Happy Holiday
The joyous holidays that surround us throughout the last 2 months of the year like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s and all others can be a bit of a sensory overload for individuals on the autism spectrum. Well not to fret, here are a few tips to help you enjoy this season with ease.
- Preparation is crucial. For example, if your son or daughter has a tendency to become anxious when anticipating an event that is to occur in the future, you may want to adjust how many days in advance you prepare him or her. Preparation can occur in various ways by using a calendar and marking the dates of various holiday events or by creating a social story that highlights what will happen at a given event.
- Decorations around the house may be disruptive for some. It may be helpful to revisit pictures from previous holidays that show decorations in the house. If such a photo book does not exist, use this holiday season to create one. For some it may also be helpful to take them shopping with you for holiday decorations so that they are engaged in the process. Or involve them in the process of decorating the house.
- If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure you have their favorite foods, books or toys available. Having familiar items readily available can help to calm stressful situations. Also, prepare them via social stories or other communication systems for any unexpected delays in travel. If you are flying for the first time, it may be helpful to bring the individual to the airport in advance and help him/her to become accustomed to airports and planes.
Happy Holidays from our BHW Family to yours!