Blog on Special Educational Needs - Asian College of Teachers

Make Holidays Fun For Children With Autism? Here's How!

13th February 2024

It makes sense that you would want your autistic child to have the same wonderful, carefree, joyous break that they deserve. However, the holidays may be very different for kids with autism. They may find it quite uncomfortable to have their daily schedule changed, to not have school, to travel great distances to visit relatives, to be in crowded places with many people, to be exposed to new sights, sounds, and smells, to sleep in a different bed, and to have others try to touch or embrace them. Read on to learn how you can help them cope with this time while enjoying themselves.

Ways To Have Happy Holidays With Your Autistic Child

Here are a few strategies to try with your autistic child so that holidays don’t seem like a sensory assault:

  1. Pick And Choose

    The majority of autistic individuals can adapt to some degree to regular changes, but very few can tolerate total disruption. Knowing the child under your care as well as you do allows you to select the adjustments that they can adapt to the most readily. You can choose to decorate a tree but spend the holiday at home, or you might want to travel but bring along your child's preferred games and movies and observe their routine.
  2. Know The Sensory Limits

    Family-related gatherings may be noisy, replete with scents, and packed with people. With this knowledge in mind, we may set up sensory supports in preparation to get us through the holidays. It's okay to need to utilize weighted pads or fidget toys; we don't gain anything by pushing ourselves to the limit. It's quite likely that there are family members of yours who are unaware of the existence of sensory aids but who would also benefit from them. Thus, your self-advocacy may become a critical learning opportunity.

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  3. Find Common Interests

    Different people have different interests. Furthermore, our hobbies might occasionally be complete opposites in families. Nonetheless, there are certain things that most people enjoy, such as food, sports, and animals. When things get too heated to discuss or you run out of things to say, finding similar hobbies may help ease the tension.
  4. Plan And Stick To It

    You probably already have a decent sense of which traditions may cause issues for your autistic child and how they will respond to them. With this knowledge, you may prepare ahead of time and communicate your strategy to your family. The important thing to remember is that you will need to follow your strategy even if family members would prefer otherwise.

  5. Prepare Mindfulness Activities

    Some techniques are widely practiced like breathing exercises and meditation as ways to unwind. But there are a plethora of different mindfulness techniques at one's disposal. Practicing mindfulness can help you get ready for difficult situations or times that make you feel anxious.
  6. Explain Their Needs

    Make sure all family members are aware of it before they have an opportunity to become offended. Give your family members some advice on how to interact with and include the kid in your care by adjusting expectations, making certain food choices, or turning on certain TV shows. Tell them that their silence or rudeness is an attempt at self-care and that they don't mean to be disrespectful or harsh.
  7. Take Care Of Yourself

    Taking care of your child's needs might easily take up all of your attention. Of course, how peaceful and joyful you are throughout this season will have a big impact on how they perceive it. This implies that you must also have the opportunity to enjoy your favorite foods, movies, and holiday gatherings. If necessary, enlist the assistance of loved ones, but make sure you receive that extra dose of festive spirit that brings delight to the season.

Ensure Happy Holidays For Your Kids

Having fun and spending time with family are the main goals of the holidays. You may approach the holidays with a positive attitude if you undergo a Diploma in Autism to understand the needs and triggers of your child and take the time to prepare and respect your boundaries.

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Written By : Victoria Lewis

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