For parents with special needs children, the holiday season can be a daunting time of the year. From October to January, there are many holidays and festivities to contend with. From dressing up for Halloween to socializing with family and friends for Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are a lot of overwhelming moments for children with special needs.
The numerous sights, smells, sounds, and behavioral expectations are difficult for anyone, so take extra care this holiday season. While there is no such thing as a perfect holiday, we have a few tips to make them easier for everyone involved especially your children! Keep reading to see how you can better navigate the holidays and ensure they are full of joy.
1. Create a Safe Space
Creating a safe zone for your child whether you are in your own home or another person’s is an important first step. Needing to retreat someplace or be alone for a while is very common for children who get overwhelmed. Find a room in the house or an area that your child can escape to if needed!
2. Stick to a Routine
While there’s no way to fully adhere to your normal routine during the holidays, instead of completely changing it, try to adjust only what is necessary for the festivities. Children who experience sensory issues struggle with drastic change. For example, if your child has a special diet for their sensory issues try to maintain it as much as possible.
3. Prepare Family and Friends
If you will be around family or friends who are not familiar with your child’s unique needs, be sure to educate them. This will avoid incidents that could lead to hurt feelings or meltdowns. An example could be if your child doesn’t do well with hugs, encourage high fives as an alternative!
If you would like additional help identifying ways to ensure successful holidays and beyond, contact AllCare Therapy Services.