The holiday season is often filled with joy, festivities, and cherished moments with loved ones. However, for families with autistic children, it can also be a time of potential stress and challenges.
Sudden changes in routine, loud noises, and unexpected surprises can create overwhelming sensory experiences. Despite these potential stressors, it is entirely possible to have an enjoyable and autistic-friendly holiday season by being well-prepared.
Acknowledging these challenges is the first step towards creating an environment that caters to the unique needs of autistic children during autism Christmas and autism New Years, but with these tips you can minimize the stress and keep your child happy, while preserving your own sanity:
- Avoid Sensory Overload– Consider the sensory experiences that may be overwhelming for your child and plan accordingly. Use noise-canceling headphones, bring comfort items like fidget toys, and create quiet spaces where your child can retreat if needed.
- Practice Holiday Routing– Maintain a consistent routine as much as possible during the holidays. Predictability can provide a sense of security for autistic children. If there are changes to the routine, communicate them in advance to help your child prepare for the upcoming events.
- Understand Your Limits– Recognize your child’s limits and be mindful of the amount of stimulation they can handle. Do not hesitate to leave an event or take a break if your child needs it.
- Keep Your Friends & Family Informed– Share information about your child’s needs and sensitivities with friends and family. Educate them about autism and suggest ways they can support your child during gatherings.
- Limit Your Expectations– Adjust your expectations for the holiday autism season. Focus on creating meaningful moments rather than striving for perfection. Embrace the uniqueness of your family’s celebrations and prioritize the comfort and happiness of your child.
- Create Sensory-Friendly Holiday Traditions– Establishing sensory-friendly traditions during autism Christmas and autism New Year can be a delightful way to celebrate without overwhelming sensory experiences. Consider activities like decorating in a calm environment, using softer lights, and incorporating activities that align with your child’s preferences.
As the new year approaches, it is an excellent time to consider additional support for your child. Enrolling them in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can provide personalized interventions to address specific challenges and enhance their overall development. ABA therapy focuses on improving communication skills, reducing challenging behaviors, and promoting social interactions.
Take the first step towards a brighter future by enrolling your child in ABA therapy today. Contact us to learn more and create a positive path for your child’s development.