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Tips for Making Holidays Special for Kids with Special Needs

Holidays are a fun time for families, though as moms we can probably admit that they can also be stressful. Lots of plans, lots of to-do lists, and maybe even traveling included can throw us off our usual routines.

When you have a child with special needs, that stress and upheaval can be magnified. My daughter on the autism spectrum does not like surprises or changes in her routine. She loves Christmas time, but just helping her through things like putting up the tree and counting down the days requires patience and gentleness.

If you have a child with special needs, you want to do everything you can to give them a stress-free experience for the holidays. The holidays can be made special for anyone, but it’s all in how you choose to do it. Check out these tips for making holidays special for kids with special needs.

Helpful tips for making the holidays special for kids with special needs. heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

Tips for Making Holidays Special for Kids with Special Needs

Keep it Simple

A lot of times, simple is best when you’re dealing with a child who has special needs. Stay at home if you have to and enjoy each other’s company. Do small things with your child that you know will mean the most. We keep Christmas low-key at our house and just enjoy the day together. This is one of the many ways to reduce holiday stress for kids.

Introduce the Concept of Giving

A special needs child often understands more than we realize, but not from the same perspective that we do. A fun project you can start with your child this holiday season is introducing giving. Allow them to pick an individual that they’d like to gift something to. You can walk your child through the process, helping them as little or as much as they need it.

Make Things Easier for Them

Go ahead and make things as easy as you can for your child. For example — If the mall gets busy at 11AM and your child cannot handle large crowds, go before or after the busy-ness. Getting things done for the holidays is important, but you’ll want to avoid as many meltdowns as possible.

Talk Your Child Through Situations

One of the best ways to make the holidays special for your child with special needs is to talk them through situations. Let them know what’s going on and what you will be doing. Although, keep in mind that not all special needs children do well with knowing what is going on, while some kids do. As in all things, knowing your own child well and responding to those individual needs is key.

Find Small Ways to Give

In order to make this season special for your child, find small ways to give back to them. Spend one-on-one time making cookies with them or allowing them to pick out a special gift for a family member. All of these small memories add up to something big. For instance, my daughter loves to make ornaments and hang them on the tree herself. I resist the urge to rearrange them on the tree because I don’t want to take the fun out of it for her.

Don’t Have Expectations

Don’t think about how your child “should be or shouldn’t be” during the holidays. One of the best things you can do for your child is to not have expectations for them. Relax and allow things to work out on their own. You won’t be making the holidays special for your child if you’re always stressed out.

Keep in mind that the best memories are made when you least expect it. You can’t force great memories to happen. Do the best you can for the holidays and remember that your special needs child is soaking up every minute of it!

How do you make the holidays special for your special kids?

Consider sharing this post with your friends and family to help them understand kids with special needs during the holidays. It might make your celebrations just a little bit easier and raise awareness!

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