Adjusting to the December Holiday Season With Your Child on the Spectrum
New lights, sounds and social changes are a few of the things that make up the December Holiday season. The holiday season in December can be a stressful time for all of us, and this is doubly true for our friends on the autism spectrum. As part of our commitment to help families and to empower our children on the autism spectrum to lead fulfilling and independent lives, we’re back with a few quick tips on how to help your child or young adult adjust to the many changes that occur in our lives during this busy but very special time!View the Video Above or Read the Transcription Below.
Hi, this is Joe from Gersh ABA Services and I have some advice for parents of children with autism during a time in which many of us consider to be extremely stressful – the holiday season.
Decorations around the home
Let’s start with decorations within our own home. This is the one environment in which we have complete control over. My suggestion, is to start the decoration process extremely early in the season and take it slow and steady. For example, the Christmas tree: You can put up the tree one day and then wait a day or two and then finish the process by doing the decorations. Slow and steady allows for our children to better adapt to the changes that take place during the holiday season.
Implementing Social Stories
Another suggestion that I have is for our parents to create and implement social stories. For those of you who don’t know what social stories are, they are simply a book we create that prepares our children for upcoming events such as a holiday occasion. Now, in our social stories, I suggest that you insert pictures of families and friends that you might see during the holiday, locations that you might travel to during the holiday, and traditional pictures of things that you and your child have done in the past. This will undoubtedly ease the anxiety of your child as you approach the holiday season.
Now, another good thing to keep in mind – during the day of celebration, this might be a good time for you to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. If your child does not want to wear them, you can simply provide them with a set of earbuds and they can utilize that listen to their favorite music if things get too overwhelming for them.
I’d like to wish everybody a joyous holiday, and a happy and healthy new year from myself and everybody here at Gersh ABA Services.