Festive season! The phrase conjures delightful images of family, friends, food, and festivities. Exciting for us! However, for the child with ASD the heightened emotions, sensory overload, and changes in routine can cause anxiety and stress. Celebrating the Festive Season may, therefore, be a stressful time for the parents, one that they may rather want to manage by avoiding the malls, family visits, and general excitement. Here are some tips to manage the holiday celebrations, allowing both parents and the ASD child to share in the joyful festivities:
– Do as much online shopping as possible.
– Be the festive early bird – try to avoid the crowds.
– Headphones and ear defenders may be helpful in noisy shops and centers.
– Decorate the house in stages to give your child time to adapt to the change. (The same applies when taking down the decorations.)
– Avoid sensory overload by choosing decorations that is not too stimulating (flashing lights, glittery objects, and loud sounds).
– Involve your child – if they help to choose and put up decorations they might find it easier to cope with the ‘new’ look of the house.
– Consider Christmas-free zones in the house.
Christmas Gifts & Wrapping
– Visual or tactile toys are often a better choice for children with autism. Avoid toys that make loud sounds or that over-stimulate.
– Bold, bright wrapping may be intimidating to a child with ASD. Try the following for wrapping their gifts:
Being able to see what is inside the gift may eliminate the stress and uncertainty of the “unknown”.
Plain Paper & Picture:
Eliminate confusion or anxiety by using plain paper with a picture of the gift on the outside.
Why Dream Big?
Dream Big Children’s Center provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) autism treatment services. ABA is the best-researched and most effective treatment for children with autism. Our board-certified behavioral therapist (BCBA) offers the behavioral therapy in a safe environment, giving each child a unique opportunity to learn and develop his/her skills in a fun-filled, yet motivational manner. Contact us today for more information on our autism services center.