Celebrating the Holidays with Sensitivity and Care
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can present unique challenges for families with loved ones on the autism spectrum. At EQC Home Care, we believe that with a little planning and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strategies, these festive days can be enjoyable for all. Here are some tips to help everyone feel included and safe.
Safety: A Top Priority
During the holiday hustle, it’s vital to ensure the safety of children with ASD. Consider a system where a designated adult monitors the child in shifts, ensuring constant supervision without overwhelming any one person.
Embracing New Traditions
Holidays are the perfect opportunity to create new traditions that include all family members. Whether it’s adapting current traditions or starting fresh, the goal is to find activities that everyone can enjoy.
Tips for Family Photos
- Engage your child with humor to capture a genuine smile.
- Opt for selfies or candid shots to reduce stress and capture natural moments.
- Prepare the setting beforehand to avoid overwhelming your child with too many stimuli.
Navigating Holiday Parties
- Use calendars and social stories to prepare your child for upcoming events.
- Familiarize them with guests through photos and explain the event’s timeline.
- Communicate with hosts about the menu and environment to ensure your child’s needs are met.
Thoughtful Meal Planning
- Allow your child to enjoy their favorite foods during holiday meals to ensure a positive experience.
- If attending events elsewhere, bring along familiar and safe foods for your child.
- Select gifts that consider your child’s sensory and motor skills.
- Practice the process of giving and receiving gifts to prepare for the actual event.
Addressing Sensory Sensitivities
- Use fabric instead of wrapping paper for gifts.
- Provide noise-canceling headphones for music or loud events.
- Incorporate energy-burning activities, like walks or playing in the snow.
Holiday Decorations with a Purpose
- Introduce holiday decorations gradually to help your child adjust.
- Use unbreakable decorations that can be safely explored.
Meeting Santa on Their Terms
- Attend “Sensitive Santa” events designed for children with autism.
- Write letters to Santa as an alternative to face-to-face visits.
Travel Tips for Comfort
- Prepare your child with stories and pictures of travel processes.
- Keep favorite items on hand to help manage stress during trips.
At EQC Home Care, we understand that these tips are just the start. Our team of dedicated professionals, including Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®), are here to support your family with personalized 1:1 treatment plans and in-school support services. Our early learner readiness program is designed to help children on the spectrum prepare for school and life’s many celebrations.
Let’s make this holiday season a time of inclusion, joy, and new memories. For more information on how ABA services can support your family, visit our website or contact us directly. Happy Holidays from all of us at EQC Home Care!