The festive period can be very stressful for children on the spectrum.
There are so many new experiences, sights and sounds. Everyone is busy, school is out of sync due to Carol Concerts and plays etc.
And home has lots of visitors turning up unannounced, and strange sparkly decorations hanging from each wall….which can lead to kids really struggling and parents being on their knees by January
So here is my survival guide to help you get through December.
I will share each day on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sliceofautism/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Creating a personal calendar is a great idea. Marking on it all the daily activities that affect your child.
Highlight all the occasions when you will do the decorations, presents, and when you're out even things that can seem quite mundane etc.
Try and keep most aspects of your child's days as normal as possible to maintain a sense of consistency.
Extend this to go past Christmas too so you're child knows when things will go back to normal.
Let your child set the pace, rushing them can lead to more pressure for everyone, warn people you may just be late and need to leave early.
Create a regular Christmas day routine that you stick to each year, this is really reassuring for kids on the spectrum.
Go through the daily schedule the night before to iron out any issues and make sure you schedule lots of quiet time for your child.
Mark things off the calendar when done, some children may like to use a 'washing line‘ with visuals.
Create Social stories for specific events/ activities to help prepare your child.
Keep bedtimes/ bath-times/ waking up times as consistent as possible.
And don't stress too much if things go off plan. It will happen occasionally.