The holidays are a time to sit back, relax, and truly appreciate time with friends and family. No one wants to spend the greater part of their holiday worrying about their loved ones, and -- with some careful planning -- you don't have to. Yes, Americans are 10 times more likely to have autism today than they were in the 1980s. Over 3.5 million people in the U.S. have autism, with 1 in 68 being kids (and 1 in 42 being young boys). Here are a few ways to keep holidays festive and stress-free, even if your children (or children in your family) sometimes struggle with autism.
Plan Ahead For Holiday Meals
Holiday meals can go off without a hitch, if you plan ahead. Consider a few things to keep children with autism calm and happy. First, always designate an area where children can go for a little peace and quiet -- away from the hubbub of a big meal and a large gathering of people. Call relatives or friends ahead, and ask about a quiet room or place to go, should children need it. Also take into account any special requirements your child might have when it comes to food. If your child has sensory or dietary problems associated with certain foods (or even food allergies), make sure to make it clear that you are preparing his or her plate. If allergies or sensitivities are particularly bad, politely let family and friends know and bring along some suitable foods for your child.
Know The Best Christmas Gifts For Autistic Children
Another holiday tip? Buy the best gifts for autistic children -- gifts they will enjoy and gifts that may help them develop critical sensory and social skills, too. Sensory balls and sensory ball pits, cocoon swings, and chewy tubes are just a few things that are fun, but also help children develop happily and healthfully.
Enjoy the holidays -- and help kids enjoy it, too -- by making adequate preparations. Keep holiday meals safe and festive by designating a quiet place to rest (if need be) and creating your child's plate, and purchase the best sensory gifts for children for Christmas.