Holidays for families with special needs children can be very difficult- especially for those on the autism spectrum. When holidays come our children have to deal with a many different stressors: their schedule is thrown off, they are usually dress in clothes that are uncomfortable to them, they are surround by lots of people who want to interact with them, try to talk and approach them, they are in a busy and noisy environment.
I use to have heightened expectations of how holidays were going to go, how my children should act, and what my family will think of them but after 3 years of raising a special needs child I have let all of that go.
I cannot control what I cannot control.
I roll with it and I set my kids and myself up for a stress free event as much as I can.
What does this mean?
We pack their own food, because they are picky eaters.
We dress them in comfy clothes, we just want them to feel comfortable.
We make sure they have a way to STIM, my son has a bouncy ball that is easy to transport from place to place, if he gets overwhelmed he can grab it and bounce.
We checkout when they are ready. When my son goes to his AAC device and says “Goodbye”, we leave. 🙂
I hope that these tips help you and if you are still struggling through holidays I want you to know that it does get better and that you will find your rhythm.