Despite the fun and family, holidays can be a stressful time of year. But for those who have a child with autism, the holidays can be especially challenging. Take a look at our tips to help make this time of year less stressful for both you and your child with autism:
- Before a potentially stressful event like a large dinner or holiday party, prepare your child in advance by talking about what to expect, reading books with similar situations, and role-playing.
- When visiting family or attending any kind of event, make sure there is a calm, quiet spot that you can get to easily if your child needs to retreat from all the activity and calm down.
- Prepare a clear, succinct way to explain autism to family and friends that may not be familiar with the situation. You may also want to provide a list of your child’s triggers and how to best handle the situation if your child is anxious or upset. Letting others know what to expect and what your child may be feeling can help relieve anxiety and tension for you and others.
- Keep your child’s schedule as regular as possible, even if you are visiting family. Don’t be afraid to communicate to your hosts what you need in order to make your child and yourself comfortable.
- During and after the holiday, talk about the activities you did and the people you saw. Take pictures and talk about them with your child, recalling what you did and saw and how them felt. The next year, take these pictures out again and review them before the holiday. Using personal experience for preparation can help a child reduce anxiety.
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 http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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