How to Handle the Holidays and Autism

RavenFor all you “new” (autism) parents out there – here’s some friendly advice about making it through the holidays.

1. If your child wants to spend the entire holiday in a room away from all of the people, it means that it’s overwhelming for them. If they insist you spend the entire holiday with them in that room, it means you are their anchor and they need you desperately. Be there.

2. If your family keeps acting in ways that are causing discomfort for your child, tell them and give them suggestions of what to do instead. If nothing changes, go home early. Really — it’s okay to leave early.

gourds3. There will be food that your child shouldn’t eat. Be prepared with your own food or with activated charcoal and/or enzymes. If your relatives insist on giving off-limits food to your child even after you’ve instructed them not to, you have permission to shank them.

4. Maladaptive behaviors are neuro-deflections. Meaning, the child cannot handle or process the current situation, so they do something that is calming for them. It’s not the child’s fault. If others are uncomfortable with that, sit them in a room with snakes blindfolded with Death Metal music blaring so they can get the full experience of what sensory overload feels like.

5. Would it be awesome if you could just relax and enjoy the time with family? Absolutely. Reality is something else entirely. Even IF you got that perfect group photo, is that really a true reflection of your life?

thanksgiving6. It’s okay for your kid to not eat at the table with everyone else. It’s okay for your kid to eat french fries for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay.

7. On the seventh day, God made wine. That part got edited out of the Bible, but I’ve seen the rough drafts and it’s in there.


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One Response to How to Handle the Holidays and Autism

  1. Bruce says:

    These are excellent tips! I have a 14 year-old son with high-functioning autism. It has taken quite a few birthdays and Christmases to help him understand that sometimes we get presents we don’t necessarily like, but we need to say thank you anyway. I had to explain this to relatives, and sometimes I think Devin is more understanding than the adults!

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