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Preparing for a guest with Autism- Holiday help

Updated on December 5, 2010

With Christmas comes parties with family, friends and children. If you are hosting this year and one of your guests in on the autism spectrum there are some simple ways that you can help them be successful and have a more fulfilling time.

First thing to consider is your schedule for the day. What is the general order of events going to consist of? You don’t have to be fanatical trying to plan every little detail, but remember that children with A.S.D. usually feel more comfortable when they know what is going to happen ahead of time. Will you be having dinner immediately or will there be some social time first ? Will there be place cards at the table? This may be a good choice if you have a large group.What is on the menu? Will there be a blessing?

What will happen next? Maybe opening presents, how will that work? Will everyone open them at the same time? Will you go around the room and each person open one at a time. Taking a moment to think about these things and let the parent know ahead of time so they can prepare their son or daughter can mean the difference between success and failure for the child! It is amazing what a little prep can do!

So you get the Idea, after you have thought it out let the child’s parents know your plans and they will gladly take it from there and go over them a few times with their children. Believe me they will be very grateful that you have taken a few minutes to do this for them!

Another tip many parents have found helpful is to have a quiet space out of the fray, perhaps a room, available in case your guest has  sensory over-load and needs to regroup. Let the parent know ahead of time that this will be there for them if they need it. Along that same line it might be helpful to ask the parent if there is anything else you can do to make this a peaceful happy occasion. Does the child have any sensory issues that could be problematic and you could work around?

With a little planning on everyone’s part the holidays will the wonderful, joyous time that we all are looking forward too.

To all parents and family members everywhere, may you holiday be filled with joy and love and may your new year be all you hoped for! Blessings to you all!



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