Another holiday season is quickly approaching. The holidays can bring so much joy to families everywhere; from baking sweet treats to opening gifts and throwing confetti on New Year’s Eve. For a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the holidays can bring lots of excitement and fun, however, the holidays can also bring on stress and discomfort. It is important to keep your loved ones with ASD in mind when planning for the holidays to prepare for a season filled with cheer!
Planning ahead for the holiday season’s celebrations will allow your loved one with ASD to have a much more enjoyable time. Creating a photo album of all the friends and family they will be seeing is a good tool to prepare them for what is to come. Through this, they may feel less anxious because the people and faces will be more familiar.
Taking the time to role-play different scenarios such as family dinners, conversations with guests/hosts, and opening up presents before the event can make a world of a difference when the actual moments arise. Coaching your loved one with the proper behaviors and responses when they are found in these situations can help them to remain calm in a trying situation.
Additionally, if you are celebrating at someone else’s home, be sure to communicate any needs or concerns to the hosts. Be sure to express any dietary restrictions and make sure the food being served is appropriate for your loved one’s needs.
Readjusting to Bring Comfort
Think about your loved one’s likes and dislikes, and what makes them feel comfortable and safe. For example, fragile decorations around the house could be unsafe and should be moved to unreachable positions.
Be proactive to talk with your family and friends about understanding your loved one’s comfort levels of social interaction and noise. This can help to avoid unplanned situations such as blaring music or crowded spaces, which may cause individuals with autism to be uncomfortable.
Knowing the needs and preferences of your loved one with ASD is important so that they too can fully enjoy the holiday season. If they want time alone, apart from the rest of the party, allow it. If they want to wear a certain outfit that was not exactly what you had in mind, allow it. Allowing them to be comfortable and happy with the things they would like to do will help you and your loved one have a joyous holiday season.
With an exclusive focus on ASD, Eden II Programs helps the autism community by providing programs and services combined with lifespan support to improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families. The mission of Eden II Programs is to support people with autism throughout their lives to achieve their full potential through service, science, and passion.
For more information on programs and services available at Eden II, please visit us
online at eden2.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.