The winter holidays can be so much fun! Although, a lot of autistic people deal with changes in routine, which causes them stress and other behaviors like meltdowns. How can you help an autistic person through the holiday season?
Here are some tools and ideas to help autistic people get through the holidays that occur in December:
1. Create social stories about the holiday they celebrate
For example, check out this Hanukkah social story: https://jteach.org/project/hanukkah-social-story/
2. Give warnings about the holiday is approaching
3. Develop a visual schedule or checklist that shows what will be done prior to and on the holiday
For instance, create a checklist for what needs to be completed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
3. Teach about leaving social situations and/or how to access support when an event during the holiday becomes overwhelming
4. If traveling for the holidays, prepare with favorites like sensory toys and food
5. Prepare others like family members for strategies to use to minimize anxiety/ behavioral incidents and to enhance participation
6. Practice behavior expectations for the holidays
7. Above all, know your loved one with autism
Do you think these tools and tips are helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section!