Managing Demands and Sensory Issues

The holiday events can be overwhelming for autistic children due to increased sensory input and changes in routine. To help your child navigate this busy time, it’s important to prepare in advance.

Here are some strategies to consider:

Create a Visual Schedule:

Use visual supports like a schedule or a social story to help your child understand upcoming events and changes in routine during the holiday season. Review the schedule regularly with your child to provide predictability and reduce anxiety.

Practice Coping Strategies:

Teach your child coping strategies to manage sensory issues, such as noise-cancelling headphones or a sensory toolkit with items like fidget toys or a stress ball. Practice using these tools with your child beforehand, so they feel comfortable and confident using them when needed.

Managing Demands During Events

Family events can be demanding with increased expectations. It’s important to manage these demands to support your autistic child.

Here are some tips to consider:

Set Realistic Expectations:

Be realistic about your child’s capabilities and communicate with family members and friends about your child’s needs. Help them understand that your child may need breaks or may not be able to participate in certain activities due to sensory issues. Your child might not like being expected to hug a loved one on demand, will it be seen as rude by the older generation? Use this as a time to educate your loved ones.

Create a Quiet Space:

During social events or gatherings, create a designated quiet space where your child can take breaks and relax. This can be a separate room or a cozy corner with familiar items from home. Encourage your child to use this space whenever they need to recharge.

Stick to Routines:

While routines may be disrupted during events, try to maintain some semblance of a routine for your child. Consistency can provide comfort and stability for autistic children. For example, stick to regular meal times, sleep schedules, and familiar activities as much as possible.

Ask for Help:

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from other family members or friends. Delegating tasks or responsibilities can reduce stress and allow you to have more time for self-care.

Remember, every child with autism is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. It’s important to understand and accommodate your child’s individual needs and preferences. Prioritising preparation, managing demands, and practising self-care can help you support your autistic child during this time and make the holiday season enjoyable for the entire family.

We hope you have a lovely easter, Team Inclusive Care Choices

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