The holidays are usually full of excitement and fun. You anticipate sharing them with family, friends and relatives. If your child has autism, you may dread thinking of going or participating in celebrating any kind of holidays.
There are some tips that will help you celebrate your holidays and make it easy for you to enjoy them.
Take time to plan your holiday in advance. Explain to your child where you are going or the function you plan to attend and what particular day this will be. Sometimes your child does not seem to comprehend what you are telling him or her, does not remember the holiday, or the place. If this happens, take out various photos you have available and show your child some of the people you are going to visit and what their homes look like.
Think about taking a favorite book, toy, stuffed animal, puzzles, coloring books, crayons or what you think your child will be comfortable doing, for activities.
It might be wise to bring a change of clothes depending on the weather, such as, shoes, socks, coats, etc. These items can be used, if you decide to take a walk, or if the temperature changes.
Take into consideration if your child has allergies, how would this affect the preparation of the meals at the destination you are going to be at. Inform the people you are going to visit, when celebrating the holidays, your child has an allergic reaction to certain foods, pets, perfume, plants, sweets, etc.
You may want to suggest to the host or hostess, who is having the holiday celebration you will be attending, that you will be glad to bring your own prepared food for your child, due to his or her allergies.
Plan to discuss with the host or hostess, regarding the function, if there will be a quiet place away from the other people who will be present, so your child can have some down time, if needed.
If your child does not like noises, or loud conversations, whether it be a private home, restaurant, or other large gatherings, bring some headphones, creative soothing music that your child is comfortable listening to. In addition, earplugs are also a useful tool.
Not all children who have autism enjoy handing out snacks to other guests before they sit down at the table. If your child is comfortable participating in handing out snacks, napkins, allow him or her to do it. This will increase their self-esteem and social skills.
Another excellent way to help your child be at ease when you are celebrating the holidays, is to practice in advance where you are going, what is the occasion you are going to attend, what will the seasonal weather will be like at the time of the holiday event.
Stay with the routine as much as possible and the home life that is familiar to your child, who has the disorder of autism. This will help the stress level, so you can enjoy the celebration of the holidays.
Be creative, patient, understanding and realize your child may not enjoy changes. On the hand, changes will encourage your child to gain self-confidence, self-esteem and adapt to new social skills.
Are you willing to take the time to celebrate the holidays with your autistic child and make it fun and less stressful?