Managing Autism during the Holidays

Between shopping for gifts, arranging get togethers, and cooking family meals, the holidays can be a stressful time of year. But for those who have a child with autism, all of the hustle and bustle can be particularly taxing. Here are some tips to help your child with autism manage this hectic time of year: 

  • Prepare for upcoming events like large family dinners by telling your child what to expect in advance. It may help to read books and stories with similar situations to help your child get used to the idea.
  • When visiting family or friends, make sure there is a quiet, calm place that your child can calm down and decompress if necessary.
  • Prepare a clear, succinct way to explain autism to family and friends that may not have encountered it before. Letting others know what to expect and what your child may be feeling can help relieve anxiety and tension for you and others.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of anxiety or distress. An increase in behaviors such as humming or rocking may mean your child needs a break from all the activity.
  • Ask your child’s speech therapist to incorporate holiday themes and activities into sessions as the holidays approach. Rehearsing communication strategies in context can help a child prepare for interacting with a variety of people and situations. For some children, role playing and incorporating holiday situations into games may help ease anxiety.

Want to learn more? Check out these other awesome times from Autism Speaks:

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2013, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

Source: Autism Speaks

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2 Responses to Managing Autism during the Holidays

  1. Ruth Nemzoff says:

    You might want to add, speak with family members about what to expect and explain what is likely to trigger problems and what is helpful.

    • Corporate Speech Solutions says:

      Great point, Ruth! Keeping family members in the loop is a great way to head problems off at the pass.

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