Dr. Erica R. Holding has a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Holding provides early diagnosis and ABA therapy for children, parent training and family support. This article is based on her many years of working with families affected by autism.
When you have a grandchild with autism, the holiday season can present some extra challenges for your family. With careful planning your family can make the holiday season warm and happy for everyone.
If you don’t get to see your grandchild regularly, it is important to remember to have realistic expectations for your time together. Before the visit, call your son or daughter to ask if there is anything to do or have on hand to make the visit more enjoyable for your grandchild. You can have favorite toys, food and videos ready and plan to go to places that they like to visit.
Be sure to compliment your grandchild and your son or daughter about the new abilities and progress your grandchild has achieved. Grandparents can be supportive good listeners who consistently give their families loving reinforcement at the holidays – and throughout the year.