We compiled a few resources to help make the holidays
merry and bright for your family.
Tips for enjoying the holidays with a loved one with special needs:
1. Prepare ahead of time: Examples include 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.
2. Decorations may be disruptive: Involve your loved one in the decorating process and set specific and consistent ground rules on which decorations can and can’t be touched.
3. If a person with autism has difficulty with change, you may want to gradually decorate the house and engage them in the process. It may be helpful to develop a visual schedule or calendar for this purpose.
4. Be flexible: Bring two adults to events, if possible, to allow your other children to stay at the event if something doesn’t work out for your child with special needs. That can allow for a more graceful exit.
5. Be on guard for wandering: Whenever routines are altered, there’s the potential for kids to get separated or lost. Survey new environments for potential dangers (e.g., bodies of water/pools, active roadways, wooded areas) when visiting others or attending a holiday event. Remain vigilant of your child’s whereabouts throughout the event and have an advanced plan before leaving home in the event wandering occurs.