Autism and 5 Holiday Tips

To many, holidays are an exciting time for visiting new places, catching up with family and trying new things. But for individuals on the autism spectrum, holiday time can be an extremely stressful time.

Tip #1 Pre warn about upcoming events

Prepare your child for the change by pre-warning them about upcoming events. Use your smartphone and video tape where you will be going, what you will be doing and with whom. Watching this video story from start to finish will help prepare your child. It will also reduce any anxiety they may be feeling about the unexpected.

Tip #2 Plan ahead

If your child has a select diet, sensory difficulties around food or dietary concerns (gluten and casein free), bring your child’s food with you. Let the host, hotel or resort know about this beforehand.

Tip #3 Be flexible.

Sometimes family traditions can be too stressful for your child on the autism spectrum and your family. Rather than getting stuck on what cannot be, be creative and bridge old traditions into new ones.

Tip #4. Stay healthy.

When our schedules change it’s easy to skip the regular workout. It’s even easier to pick up takeout. Remember the three requirements to staying healthy are enough sleep, regular exercise and healthy eating. Carve time out for these things and stick to the schedule.

Tip # 5 Relax.

Schedule down time for everyone. We all need a holiday after the holiday. Learn to say ‘no’ to invitations without guilt.