The social network for parents of kids with autism

Posts tagged ‘Tips’

Holiday Tips for Parents of Kids with Autism: Including Gift Ideas & Activities

The holiday season is always a fun yet stressful time of year. Planning activities for kids, buying presents for friends and family, deciding which holiday parties to attend – the list goes on. However, decisions become especially challenging for parents and relatives of those with a child on the autism spectrum.

We surveyed our more than 14,000 community members and came up with some tips to help parents and children on the spectrum successfully navigate through the holidays. Here are the top 5 tips:

  1. Practice. Do a practice run of ‘the Holiday moments’ like waiting for other family members to wake up before opening presents, practice gift giving and receiving, practice any traditions that take place ahead of time to help familiarize your child.
  2. Keep it small. If your kids are easily over-stimulated, keep them away from large or loud groups that you might find at the mall. Keep your child comfortable by avoiding large crowds.
  3. Comfortable surroundings. If your child experiences sensory overload or changes to their environment, gradually decorate your home rather than all at once. Share pictures of typical decorations that your child is likely to see. If you think your child may experience sensory overload from decorations, like flashy lights, have them help decorate your own home with non-flashy decor to feel more comfortable. Also, it may be good to avoid those homes or stores that truly go over the top.
  4. Keep it simple. Avoid over-scheduling. Sometimes, simply staying home for the holidays helps. If you do plan to visit with family, doing so in short sessions can be more effective. Also, establish a place in the home that you’re visiting for your child to have private downtime away from the group.
  5. Create a food plan. If you are taking your child to other homes to visit with family and friends, pack toys, snacks and meals that are familiar to your child. Meal planning is the way to go!

With school breaks surrounding us in December, parents also shared recommendations of activities to take part in, like:

  • Watch Christmas movies and T.V. shows at home.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Decorate the house/tree together.
  • Bake and cook together.
  • Arts & crafts.
  • Christmas tree shopping.
  • Gift shopping.
  • Take a tour/drive around neighborhoods with Christmas lights.

Finally, here are the top gifts parents recommended for relatives to get kids with ASD:

  • iPad
  • Legos
  • Gift cards (iTunes/Amazon)
  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Sensory toys (like My Keepon, plushies, sonic toys)
  • Video games

For more holiday tips with children with ASD, check out these great links:

Holiday Tips for Families Living with Autism, Autism Society

Surviving the Holidays with Autism, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Holiday Tips, Autism Speaks

Written by Mary Ray, CMO/ Co-founder at MyAutismTeam

Follow us on Twitter @myautismteam or Facebook www.facebook.com/myautismteam

As always, please send us any feedback/questions that you have! Meet more parents like you in the autism community by signing up for MyAutismTeam.

7 Tips & Tricks for Parents: Make Halloween Fun for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

We asked parents of the MyAutismTeam community for tips they have for other parents navigating this year’s Halloween w/ their child on the spectrum. Here were the seven most popular tips.

  1. Practice. Do a practice run of the homes where you plan to trick or treat with your child. Some parents map out the homes they will visit and provide a visual schedule to their kids to get more familiar with the Halloween activities planned for the night.
  2. Avoid large groups. Keep them away from large or loud groups of other trick or treators.
  3. Role play. For young children, have your little one help hand out candy to trick or treators. This sort of role play enables your child to ease into the expectations of trick or treating.
  4. Comfortable costumes. If your child experiences sensory overload, avoid masks. Explore with your child costume options that do not inhibit movement or irritate. Have them try on whatever costume a couple of times before the big night.
  5. Decoration help. If you think your child may be scared of spooky decorations, flashy lights and scary noises, have them help decorate your own home and feel more comfortable. Also, it may be good to avoid those homes that truly go over the top.
  6. Keep it simple. Halloween can be as jam-packed as you want it to be. Sometimes, simply visiting one home that has a pumpkin on the porch is enough. Short sessions out can do the, ahem, trick.
  7. Candy plan. Make sure you have a game plan for how to deal with the candy.  One parent has a “candy buy back” with their dentist, “So he just picks a few things out, and we sell the rest to our dentist who sends it to the troops overseas.”

For more about Halloween with children with ASD, check out these great links:

Tips to Make Halloween Enjoyable for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Autism Society

Have a Merry, But Modified Halloween, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Rethink Autism’s Halloween Tips for Children with Autism, video by Rethink Autism

 

 

Written by Mary Ray, Head of Product at MyAutismTeam

Follow us on Twitter @myautismteam or Facebook www.facebook.com/myautismteam

As always, please send us any feedback/questions that you have! Meet more parents like you in the autism community by signing up for MyAutismTeam.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80,738 other followers

%d bloggers like this: