While the holiday season can be exciting because it lets us break routine, thousands of parents on MyAutismTeam.com have told us that it’s the breaking of routine that can create unexpected behavior in their kids with autism. Here are 5 tips from thousands of parents on MyAutismTeam.com to navigate the holidays:
1) Practice – do a practice run of holidays events like gift exchanges with others, or meeting Santa at the mall, or even eating at the special occasion dining table. By getting their children familiar with typical holiday festivities, parents on myautismteam.com told us, the anxiety in their kids goes down.
2) Keep it small – If you can, avoid large or loud groups. Some kids with autism get easily overwhelmed in large groups and loud noises, even if only music. Parents say it’s a good idea, to permit your child some downtime away from the hustle and bustle, so they can feel a moment of calm.
3) Comfortable surroundings – gradually decorate your home and have them help. Some children with autism experience sensory overload from decorations, like flashy lights and music. Homes with non-flashy decor can feel more comfortable.
4) Keep it simple – avoid over-scheduling. Parents suggest time-boxing certain events, and managing your child’s expectations of how long it may be that we’re visiting Aunt Katy’s or Granny’s.
5) Finally, create a food plan – if visiting others for dinner pack snacks and meals that are familiar to your child, and communicate with your hosts that’ll you be doing that so that everyone is on the same page.
These are just a few tips. Kids with autism are so different, and have different needs. Parents interested in learning more should ask other parents in their shoes on MyAutismTeam.com.