Holiday dinners are usually filled with family and good food. However, holiday dinner expectations can be demanding, especially for someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The combination of bustling activity and the over-abundance of delicious foods can be overwhelming. It is also important to acknowledge the challenges that may arise when schedules are disrupted and routines are broken. Below are a couple of suggestions to help lessen the stress and anxiety created by holiday dinners.
Consider Hosting the Dinner
If space permits, plan to host the dinner in your own home. This will enable you to have more control over the events that occur during the night. However, hosting a family dinner can be a huge undertaking. If this is your concern, consider hosting a potluck style meal in order to alleviate some of the responsibility. Family members may be more than willing to bring prepared dishes and help with the preparations. If potluck dinner is not your style, consider asking a few close family members or friends to arrive early to help with the preparations before your guests arrive.
Prepare in Advance
If hosting the meal is not an option, be sure to prepare for the dinner outing in advance. Preview the location with your loved one prior to the dinner. This will make the environment more familiar to better anticipate what to expect at the dinner. It may be helpful to practice conversing with the guests. Additionally, call the host/hostess to discuss any special accommodations you need.
Use these tips to help create a comfortable atmosphere and make your holiday dinners a success! Remember to relax and most importantly, do what makes sense for your family. Here at Eden II, we wish you a very happy holiday season.
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 information on programs and services available at Eden II, please visit us online at eden2.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.