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Making Holidays Autism-Friendly: Tips for Parents

Not everyone can feel nearly as good during the happiest season of the year because of the dazzling lights, crowded stores, parties, and holiday feasts. To ensure that everyone can participate in the celebrations, there are various ways you can make Holidays autism friendly for your child.


Why might Holidays be challenging for kids with autism?


Even though every child will have a unique experience, Holidays can be very stressful for children with autism. . Holidays can be a difficult time for children with autism because of sudden changes in their routine, sensory overload, and pressure to socialize.


To make Holidays joyful for your family, reconsider tradition and don't be scared to create your own rules.


In light of this, we have put together some advice that will help your kids enjoy this season more.


Communicate with your child:

It will help you plan for the entire season if you communicate to your child about changes before they happen and try to find out what concerns them. Figuring out how your child may receive gifts is important. It's important to pay attention to their preferences, whether they enjoy unwrapped gifts or one present at a time.


Prepare in advance:

It may be simpler for you and your child if you prepare ahead of time for the Holiday season. It's important to plan ahead for the whole holiday season, not just one holiday. This might comprise:


  • Planning Holidays will be made easier by using visual aids like visual timetables.

  • planning for discrepancies in perception (For example, preparing for when ear defenders may be needed)

  • Ensure everyone is at ease by talking to family and friends about your child's needs.

  • Make sure your kids are aware of any visitors entering the home, especially if they are strangers.


Make a schedule:

For many children with autism, routines are essential because they give them structure and might help them feel less anxious. It might be useful to:


  • Try to keep your child's schedule as normal as you can.

  • Introduce Holidays festivities gradually, such as decorating the tree one day and turning on the lights the next.

  • Use visual timers to signify an activity's completion. Visual assistance Liquid Timers are included in our Get Sensory Packs.

  • Make a visual schedule that your child can see and go over it with them.

Adapt the decorations:

Decorating can be an important part of making it "feel like a Holiday," but a change in surroundings can set off sensory difficulties.


You might:


  • Plan appropriate decorations and where they will go to prevent upsetting your child.

  • Avoid hanging all of the decorations in one day because it might be daunting; instead, consider doing it gradually.

  • Make places without any Holidays decorations.

  • Pick the optimum lighting - flashing lights can irritate sensitive eyes, but you can also use lights with adjustable brightness levels.


Create a quiet space:

Your kids will benefit from having a peaceful area all year long, not just during the holidays. This area should be unadorned and a secure spot for your kids to retreat to if they are feeling overstimulated.

Consider your child’s food aversions:

Holiday meals don't put an end to autism. When preparing your Holidays meals, it's crucial to take your child's food allergies into account. Make a special meal for your kids instead of skipping Holiday meals altogether. It's acceptable to have pizza and chicken nuggets for the Holidays!


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