Month: December 2014

I Gave My Son Regifted Presents for Christmas

Finale is going to be 17 months-old in time for Christmas.  Lately, he’s shown an affinity for cars or anything with wheels, which he calls “beep-beeps”.  Every chance he gets he is knocking at Mysterious’ door chanting “beep-beep, beep-beep” because he’s begging for one of […]

The Perfect Christmas Tree is a Shared Tree

This is our Christmas tree. It’s 4 feet tall, pre-lit, and attached to a kitchen chair.  My husband and I are pretty hands off in the decorating process.  All we do is set the tree up and put on the garland and the tree skirt. […]

5 Tips to Navigate the Holidays on the Autism Spectrum

This post was originally published on December 22, 2011.

It’s been my experience over the years that the Holidays can be an exceptionally stressful time for anyone.  But what if you’re on the Autism Spectrum?  There’s more to do, more to think about, more people to interact with, changes in schedule, sounds, lights, etc.  So how do you navigate the holidays if you or someone you love is on the Autism Spectrum?



5.  Schedule as much as you can and keep it posted where everyone in the house can see it.  For younger children, make sure you give them reminders in the form of pictures or verbal reminders so they’re sure about what’s coming next.  This calendar is what we use.  The bottom has a chart where every family member has their own square everyday where we write down activities and times.

 4.  Don’t over-schedule yourself and your family.  One holiday event every day may be too much or one holiday event in and of itself may be too much.  You know you’re family best but know when to say no.  If you need to attend parties and get-togethers that you know will be too much consider sending a family representative and sit it out.  For younger children especially, let them sit them out if they become too overwhelming.  Even adults on the spectrum need to understand how much is doable for them.

3.  At events ask the host if there is a quiet room available (NOT the bathroom) for you or your child to retreat to if needed.  The holidays are a time for festivities and that means LOTS of stimulation and chances for sensory overload.  A quiet room gives your Aspie or person on the Autism Spectrum a chance to chill for a bit.

2.  If activities get to be too much don’t be afraid to leave, and don’t be ashamed.  Read your signals, you know your body.  If your kiddos start to make self-soothing movements (“ticks”) more than usual, they’re getting openly upset. If the quiet room doesn’t help bow out gracefully.  Excuse yourself for not feeling well… because you’re not!  And don’t feel bad if you or your child gets overwhelmed. It happens!

1.  Consider what you, your Aspie or person on the Autism Spectrum would prefer to do.  Schedule an activity that would make them happy, something they would enjoy doing.  Make time for it, live in the moment, and enjoy the time with them.

If you are interested in more stories about Autism and Asperger’s please visit my other posts:

Autism Doesn’t Mean Stupid

Dear Blissdom

Why Am I Pissed Off?

“I Went to Be in the Mountains.”

Christmas Jello Cake

Just like pie is a big part of our family’s Thanksgiving celebration, cake is a big part of our family’s Christmas celebration.  When my son was diagnosed with a wheat allergy a couple of years ago it made me rethink our Christmas cake.  We tried […]

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