The holidays are truly the most magical time of the year. They are filled with family, friends, and fellowship. For many, this myriad of joy is part of the magic, but for some people with special needs, these can create some not-so-joyful feelings.
For my son, the holidays are his favorite time of year. He LOVES the people, the food, the festivals-JUST ALL OF THE MERRY, but his main stressor is the schedule changes. He is very rigid with his schedule and does not deal with sudden changes in the routine very well. As hard as it is, we view these as opportunities for growth and try not to allow the rigidity to take over our family's schedule during the holidays. We do this under the supervision of our occupational therapist, and we also keep several factors in mind to keep the environment less stressful and still enjoyable for our holiday-loving little guy!
I know that for many of our kiddos, the struggles are different. Some may struggle with the food being served at parties, some may struggle with the louder, merrier environments, and some may just be overloaded by it all. Through my research on how to best help my boy, I found some wonderful tips and tricks from Yulika Forman, PhD, LMHC. She is AMAZING and offers so much free support and advice to those living with a neurodivergent loved one. She even offers a free, holiday guide for neurodivergent adults and children. This guide and SO MUCH more can be found on her website at https://www.theexpertally.com/. She also is very active on Instagram. Check her out and follow her at @theexpertally.
Here are some of her amazing tips to follow using the 4 S's for the upcoming holiday season:
I wish you all the happiest holiday season and hope that all of the joy and wonder it brings will be experienced by all of those that you love.
All my love and support, Anna