16 Ways to Prepare Children with Autism for Holidays

The following blog post was originally posted on Easter Seals’ National website.

16 Ways to Prepare Children with Autism for Holidays

by Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families with sons/daughters on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken.

The following tips were developed with input from the Autism Society of America, the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Easterseals Crossroads, Sonya Ansari Center for Autism at Logan, and the Indiana Autism Leadership Network. We update our list of suggestions annually, and our hope is that by following these few helpful tips as the holiday approaches, families may lessen the stress and anxiety created by the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Continue reading “16 Ways to Prepare Children with Autism for Holidays”

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Easterseals is your resource for family fun for all

Fall is a great time of year to get out of the house and do fun things around town. If you have a child with special needs, enjoying those activities may be a little more difficult. We’ve compiled a list of ideas for you to enjoy with your family.

The Arts

Center for Puppetry Arts – The Center for Puppetry Arts has modified regular programming to allow guests with autism spectrum disorder to experience sensory-friendly Family Series performances, Film series, and Create-A-Puppet Workshops™. The next sensory-friendly performance is The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Silly Hollow on Sunday, October 30. http://puppet.org/programs/asd/

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RMS Drama Aladdin, Jr. Free Special Needs Community Show – A very special free preview show of Aladdin, Jr. will be held for the special needs community on Tuesday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m. by Riverwatch Middle School Musical Theater. Adults and children with special needs and their families are invited to take a magical journey with this sneak peek performance. This show will be held at Lambert High School (805 Nichols Road, Suwanee, GA). Reservations for this sensory-sensitive show only can be made by calling 678-414-1031. www.facebook.com/RMSDramaSpecialNeedsShow

Continue reading “Easterseals is your resource for family fun for all”

5 Tips for a Sensory –Friendly 4th of July

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Independence Day is fast approaching, and while many of us are counting down the days to celebrate with fireworks, parades, and BBQs those same activities can be overwhelming and nearly unbearable for children with sensory sensitivities.
Whether your child struggles with Autism, ADHD, or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) with a little extra attention and preparation, they too can enjoy the 4th of July fun.

Talk About It
Preparation is essential when it comes to activities with any child. Make sure to prepare your child for whatever you have planned well in advance. Explain, what noises, smells, and activities will be present and follow up with visual aids, like The Story of 4th of July or videos of fireworks. Also, set expectations by giving your child a time frame, so they feel more in control.
Pack Favorite Items
Keeping your child comfortable is the best way to avoid a 4th of July meltdown. Familiar snacks, toys, and games can provide comfort and act as a distraction if your child becomes over-stimulated by any sights, sounds and smells. Continue reading “5 Tips for a Sensory –Friendly 4th of July”