Having a child with autism can certainly make the holiday season even more of a test of patience than everyday living. While you want your child and your family to enjoy and get the most out of this joyous season, handling melt-downs and behavior issues with love and patience can be a constant challenge.
Autism Speaks, a nationally recognized autism awareness organization, offers tips and resources for helping your child with autism and your family enjoy the holidays in their newsletter Community Connections.
Just a few tips for a Happy Holiday with autism:
- Preparation - planning in advance is so important
- If you are traveling, have favorite foods, toys and comfort items readily available
- Be aware of the level of noise your child can tolerate
- Pick out a 'safe' place in advance for your child to go if they become over-stimulated
- Openly discuss and reiterate the plans, schedule and anticipated events of the holidays so your child knows what to expect and when
Most of all, remind yourself often what a precious gift your child is, and appreciate their unique perspective of the world around you.