Category Archives: Holidays - Grandparent Autism Network

Establish new traditions

and forgive yourself if the holiday is not “perfect,” stick to your routine and be consistent.  Afterwards, no one will remember what was on the table. They will remember who was at the table and how much they enjoyed being together.

Prepare children with visual social stories ahead of time

to help them anticipate the holiday activities.  Write the schedule of activities so the child is aware of the sequence of events.  Use drawings or cut out pictures for smaller children to help them understand what to expect. Discuss the schedule many times before the event.

Reduce the child’s anxieties

about being with unfamiliar relatives by sharing photographs on display in your home or videos of the people and    homes where the holidays will be celebrated before the events.

Consider attaching a camera to your computer

and to out-of-town relatives’ computers so children can utilize the Internet (i.e.,SKYPE)  to develop relationships with family members who live long distances away.

If possible, plan to attend smaller parties

that are easier for children.  Do not overstay, it may cause problems for the child and others. You may want to drive in two cars so that one parent can leave early if the child is distressed.  Put the needs of the child first.