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It's here. Christmas is here. The streets are filled with lights, noises, and people who collapse the shops of any city that is third. The houses begin to collapse of nougat, polvorones, mantecados and another series of sweets that make us gain a few kilos. And families ... Well, families go into a state of enervation due to the rush, the nerves and all these stimuli that, to tell the truth, are wonderful, but that, often, become a challenge that we all want to enjoy without billing us.
If to this state in which any family is submerged we add having a son or daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder at home, it can become a challenge that does not leave any of the closest relatives indifferent, especially parents and siblings. That is why I have decided to write reflection, in which you will find some keys so that children with autism have a merry christmas.
These considerations will help you explain to a child with autism what Christmas is about, how to act at this time and, in the same way, make behavior more flexible during these days of constant change.
1. Explain to your child what Christmas is all about
If you consider that your child still does not know very well what the usual routines of these dates are, what the parties consist of, why we do them, etc., it is a good time for you to explain all these questions in a simple way.
Spend time with him drawing pictures of the things that are going to happen during these holidays when there is no school. You can use a calendar to mark the most important dates for changes. In this way, you can tell him if you are going to go somewhere special, if you are going to have dinner at someone's house, if you are going to go on vacation for a few days, etc.
2. Anticipate what you are going to do during Christmas with a visual agenda
Take your time to, as we said in the previous point, meet your child for a few minutes first thing every morning and tell him with a visual agenda what is going to happen during the day. These days are usually dates marked by the changes that occur (going shopping, visiting relatives or doing any other activity that is not frequent at home).
3. Beware of changes during these weeks
The changes often agitate people with autism. They prefer more routine and stable situations in which they know what is going to happen. If you can foresee any of the changes that are going to take place, anticipate them to your child.
If, on the other hand, the change has been sudden, take some time together to talk about it in a simple way. To do this, relying on visual drawings. Give him the behaviors that you expect him to perform and explain how he should feel about these changes. For example, “we don't go to Grandma's house because she's sick, we stay at home playing cards. We are all happy and calm ”.
4. Attention to stimuli
People with autism often have hypo or hyper sensitivity to stimuli of various types, especially visual and sound. Because these dates are usually very hectic in these ways, try to keep your child in a calm environment if he has some of these characteristics. If you have no choice but to introduce your child to any of these situations, you can try headphones that isolate noise, an mp3 with his favorite music, or a toy that is of interest to him.
5. Work on school issues during Christmas
Working during Christmas some of the issues that are already being done from the educational center with your child should be something that is part of the daily routine. In addition, the reasons are not only strictly academic, but doing some familiar and simple activities will help him to have a greater sense of control and, therefore, in most cases, it should be something pleasant for him. If you can't find homework that you like, maybe you can help out with chores.
6. Enjoy the family
Sometimes we forget the most important thing on these dates: enjoy the family. Rest and take time to be with your child. Create affective bonds that develop greater emotional stability in the family home.
Merry Christmas to all!
You can read more articles similar to 6 keys for children with autism to enjoy a merry Christmas, in the Autism category on site.