Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Autism All the Way: A Guide for Hosting and Visiting Relatives during the Holidays

The holidays are a time for family and friends to come together, but for parents of children with autism, the thought of hosting or visiting relatives can be overwhelming. With a little planning and preparation, however, it’s possible to make the holiday season a success for everyone involved. Here are some tips for hosting a successful holiday event or visiting relatives with your autistic child.

  1. Communicate with your relatives ahead of time. Let your relatives know that your child has autism and what accommodations you may need for them to feel comfortable. This could include a quiet room for them to retreat to if they become overwhelmed, or a specific type of food or activity that they enjoy.

  2. Set up a routine. Children with autism thrive on routine, so try to maintain as much of their regular routine as possible, even during the holidays. This could include sticking to their normal sleep schedule, keeping up with their regular therapy or medication, and providing them with a familiar activity to do during the event.

  3. Create a sensory-friendly environment. Many children with autism have sensory sensitivities, so it’s important to create an environment that is comfortable for them. This could include reducing noise levels, avoiding strong scents, and providing a quiet space if they need to take a break.

  4. Prepare your child for the event. Give your child a social story that explains what will happen during the event, what to expect, and how to behave. You can also practice social skills and conversation starters ahead of time.

  5. Be flexible. Remember that things may not go as planned, and that’s okay. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed, and try to stay calm if your child becomes upset.

  6. Make it inclusive. Encourage your relatives to interact with your child in a way that is comfortable for them. This could include playing games, reading stories, or engaging in a shared activity.

  7. Take a break. Remember to take care of yourself and your child. Take breaks as needed, and don’t be afraid to step out of the event if you or your child becomes overwhelmed.

By following these tips and being prepared, you can help make the holiday season a success for everyone involved, including your child with autism. With a little bit of planning and preparation, it’s possible to create an inclusive and enjoyable holiday experience for everyone in the family.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA ImageChange Image

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.