Friday, December 12, 2014
Holiday Survival Tips for Families of Children with Special Needs
1. Minimize kids’ time spent in stores and malls - it is super overwhelming for those without special needs (myself included), so keep the time in stores and malls to a minimum. Online shopping is easy and less stressful!
2. Prep your kids - create social stories, have a back up plan if something happens with your child, or create a "busy bag" to keep your child entertained during those times that may be less interesting to them.
3. Prep your family - if you're hanging out with family members that are not accustomed to your child, prepare them for what they may experience. What's normal, what's atypical and what they can do to help!
4. Maintain routines - keep it simple and the same.
5. Maintain diet - holidays include foods that we don't eat everyday. Stuffed turkeys, gravy and lots of desserts. Handling a stomach ache or increased calories may cause behaviors to arise. Don't allow special diets to be forgotten either!
6. Bring your own food - if needed to maintain your child's diet, bring your own food.
7. Make a plan for "escape" - at what point in the night do you leave? What if your child is having a hard time? What is your plan for "escape"?
8. Have a support team - have someone that can work with you and support you through the good and bad times. Educate a friend or relative on how they can help you with your child and what to look our for when they may be overwhelmed.
For further information and more ideas, see MamaOT.com's post here.
Shelly had "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" in her head all week since this week's craft was building a snowman!