Holidays Ring “Hollow” For Some Children with Special Needs

Holidays Ring “Hollow” For Some Children with Special Needs

Holidays and celebrations, like Easter, Thanksgiving, and birthdays, should be a happy time in families. When I think back to those days of celebration, when our children were growing up, the memories I have are not at all happy ones. Unfortunately holidays are often very stressful for many families of children with special needs like autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette syndrome, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, etc. Why do these kids with challenging needs hate almost everything about family gatherings associated with celebrating holidays and birthdays?

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Ten Tips for Successful Celebrations for Kids with Autism: Birthdays, Holidays, Family Reunions…

Ten Tips for Successful Celebrations for Kids with Autism: Birthdays, Holidays, Family Reunions…

Holidays and family celebrations are a stress for many families for both parents and children. If you have a child with special needs these celebrations become a dreaded event that most parents would like to cross off their schedules or learn to celebrate differently. Most families like to keep ties with other family members and friends and this is usually done during family gatherings during the holidays or during family celebrations. What can parents do to help kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) be able to enjoy these family reunions and parties and in turn make it a successful celebration for all? How can you help your child with autism develop the social skills needed to interact with others at these social gatherings?

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Reduce Celebration Anxiety: How to Give and Receive Gifts

Reduce Celebration Anxiety: How to Give and Receive Gifts

Teach your child how to give a gift, as well as receive a gift. A child who feels prepared is a child who is less liable to be anxious, tearful, and easily overwhelmed. Gift-giving etiquette is a life skill all children should learn. A child with autism who thrives on routine and familiarity often finds celebrations very upsetting. Follow these suggestions on how to teach how to give and receive gifts to make those special days memorable for the good reasons.

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Holidays and Autism Parenting Tips: Structure, Predictability, and Schedules

Holidays and Autism Parenting Tips: Structure, Predictability, and Schedules

If you are raising a child with autism, you know from experience that holidays and autism are a difficult mix.  No matter how much we love the season or cherish the celebration, all special events come packaged with additional stress. Whether it’s finding the perfect gift, baking signature desserts, or entertaining, we all understand the extra demands of creating memorable occasions.

Now magnify that stress to an unimaginable degree and you will begin to understand how special events impact our children with autism. We know that children on the spectrum do not like changes – even those that may delight – as do neurotypical kids. Their core deficits compromise their ability to anticipate or tolerate change very well…if at all. They prefer structure, predictability, schedules.

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