Autism Corner: Holiday Tips for Parents of Children on the Spectrum
[Source: Best Practice Autism]
The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for everyone, especially for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The sights and sounds of the holidays can be stressful and over-stimulating. There are many changes in routine, family events, parties, and vacations that need to be planned. Sometimes the stress of these changes can become overwhelming and the joy and happiness of the holidays might be lost. Here are some helpful tips to lessen your child’s anxiety and increase your family’s enjoyment of the holiday season:
Decorating and Shopping
- If your child has difficulty with change, you may want to gradually decorate the house. Decorate in stages, rather than all at once. It may also be helpful to develop a visual schedule or calendar that shows what will be done on each day.
- Allow your child to interact with the decorations and help put them in place.
- Flashing lights or musical decorations can disturb some children. To see how your child will respond, provide an opportunity experience these items in a store or at elsewhere first.
- Last minute holiday shopping can be stressful for children who rely on routines. If you do take your child shopping, allow enough time to gradually adapt to the intense holiday stimuli that stores exhibit this time of year.
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