|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on December 23, 2015 at 12:35 PM|
Remember when you were young? How excited you were with the thought of Santa coming. And Christmas morning the tree full of presents… you couldn’t wait to tear open gifts under the tree. All of this can be overwhelming to the average child, but for a child with Autism or ADHD it’s especially overwhelming to them. All of the holiday events that we enjoy and anticipate every year can easily turn from joy to tears to tantrums and melt downs in a matter of moments.
There are techniques and strategies you can employ to make the holidays stay calm and blissful…. “Children with Autism and ADHD thrive with routines and consistency. They work well in structured environments. With the disruption of daily schedules, your child may suffer in school and their behavior at home may be disastrous and more impulsive.
For many of our children that have a hard time socially, family gatherings may be stressful if your child does not yet have the social skills to act appropriately, or they may spend the day feeling left out and alone.
“To help keep the holidays festive and joyous, there are a number of tips that parents can incorporate into their daily life:
1) Maintain routines as much as possible.
2) Make up a holiday calendar to keep up in your kitchen. Visuals are helpful for kids with Autism and ADHD
3) Be proactive in your approach. Think about what problems may develop and determine if your expectations fit the situation.
4) Determine rewards and consequences for behavior prior to the holiday season and be consistent throughout. Be sure to provide directions and instructions in small chunks and be sure to maintain eye contact while you are talking with your child. Let them know what the consequences will be if their behavior does not meet your expectations and what rewards will be. (Rewards can be simple such as staying up to watch a favorite television show or receiving a treat during shopping.
5) Make sure your child understands that there are different rules in different households. When visiting friends and relatives, let them know ahead of time what behavior is expected in that house.
6) Think about the invitation you have received before accepting. Is this a place you and your children will feel comfortable and accepted
7) When visiting friends or relatives at mealtime, ask ahead what the menu will be.
When opening gifts, set rules ahead of time.
9) Take time to have down time at home with the family. It is important during the holiday season to remember and cherish your own family.