Autism Parenting Tips

3 Tips to Help Your Child with Autism Get Through the Holidays

Joe Laudadio, Regional Operations Manager of Gersh ABA Services Speaking into the Camera

Mastering the Holidays With Your Child on the Spectrum

It’s that season again! As parents of individuals on the autism spectrum, we become masters of pre-planning activities – whether it’s packing the right things, calling ahead to get the feel for a venue’s accommodations, or simply scheduling your day around any situations that may arise. As Thanksgiving approaches, we thought we’d share 3 useful tips to help your family master the holiday!

View the Video Above or Read the Transcription Below.


Hi, this is Joe from Gersh ABA Services and I have just a few suggestions for our families and parents of children on the autism spectrum for this Thanksgiving Holiday. First and foremost, if at all possible, try to host Thanksgiving in your own house. After all, there’s nothing more overwhelming than being outside your own home. In case this is not an option, I’ve laid out tips below for both scenarios. We hope families will find this information helpful.

Scenerio 1: Hosting Thanksgiving at Your Home

Tip 1 – Host Thanksgiving at Home

That’s one checked off! Hosting Thanksgiving at home will provide a more comfortable environment for your child, and will ensure that all of your ‘go-to’ items to help them get through the day are right on hand. Children tend to feel safer in places that are familiar to them, and having a quiet and comfortable place for them to retreat if things get too overwhelming will be beneficial.

Tip 2 – Let Your Child Explore the Food (Before Guests Arrive!)

If at all possible, have your child browse the buffet before your guests arrive. Have your child smell the food, taste the food, and touch the food. Of course, have your child’s favorite food on hand just in case they don’t want to eat anything that’s being served.

Tip 3 – Offer Your Child Plenty of Breaks

Last, but not least, offer your child plenty of breaks. Make sure you have a safe place for your child to go if things get too overwhelming.

Scenerio 2: Traveling for Thanksgiving

Tip 1 – Pack Your Child’s Favorite Food

If you’re traveling outside of the home, remember to make sure to bring your child’s favorite food in case they don’t respond to what’s being served.

Tip 2 – Pack Any iPads, iPhones, or Devices

Secondly, bring your iPads, iPhones or gaming systems, if necessary, in case things get too overwhelming for your child. Of course, remember to bring your chargers as well!

Tip 3 – Plan for an Early Exit

Last, but not least, plan for an early exit. Make sure your family and your friends understand that things may just get too overwhelming for your child and you’re going to have to leave.
I’d like to wish a happy and healthy thanksgiving holiday from myself and everybody here at Gersh ABA Services. Thank you!

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