Holidays are a great time to have fun and bond a family together. They also offer a great chance for family members to get away from their monotonous routines and have a fresh whiff of happiness and peace. However, having a fixed routine is important for kids with Autism, which takes a back seat during the holidays. To ease out holiday stress for you and your child, here are a few suggestions and tips that you should adapt to.
1. Pick a Destination Keeping Your Child’s Interest in Mind
The transition during the vacations is already difficult for your child to cope up with. Picking up a destination your child’s interest and comfort in mind can ease out his/her stress and can minimize the occurrence of throwing tantrums and meltdowns. One important thing to keep in mind is that children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder can detect the stress of people around them.
So, you should prefer going to destinations like the mountains or a beach where the schedules can be unhurried and moulded as per convenience. Such destinations are typically ideal for your child. Also, remember that it is you who knows your child the most. Think about whether your child loves to play with the waters or go on hikes? Do they like to visit an amusement park? Try to contemplate and pick a destination that includes their choice of activities. You can also consult a child psychologist at an Autism treatment centre about this.
2. Create Proper Identification
Increasing your child’s safety quotient should be your priority. Several kids on the Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to flee or wander away from parental supervision. To keep such accidents at bay, get your child a necklace or a bracelet, or for that matter a basic identity card which contains essential contact information like your name, mobile number, and address. Among the holiday fun, there is a possibility of a child wandering away from adults and an identity card would be of great help to anyone who’d want to share the whereabouts of your child.
3. Make Use of Social Stories
Social stories are 1st-person accounts that are a great way to explain to your child what’s about to happen. Knowing the upcoming activities and events for the day helps your child better deal with them. For this, you can also create and use picture cards that have short stories based on the upcoming events. Here is an example of a short story-
When we go to the amusement park…
- I will wait for my turn to take the ride
- I will follow directions
- I will say, “I don’t like it.” for things I don’t want to do.
For better guidance, you can contact a certified Child Psychologist or an Autism treatment centre near you.
4. Be considerate of the sensory overload
Several children who are on the Autism Spectrum experience over-sensitivity to touch, smell, sound, and light. Going to a new place, with different environments and cultures can trigger a sensory overload and your child may seem to feel panicked or overwhelmed. To ease things out for your child, pack-objects like lavender-scented candles or pillows, favourite light-up toys, coloured marbles, or anything that has proven to distract your child in the past can help them calm down.
5. Cherish the little moments
Often while preparing and making arrangements for the holidays, parents and caregivers try to run so much after perfection that they forget to enjoy. Even if things don’t go as per plan, be at peace. Children are sensitive to the environment and if they sense stress or anxiety, they may absorb the same. So de-stress yourself and try to make the most out of little happy moments you experience with your child together as a family.
6. Engage expert help
To help your child develop skills and achieve milestones, you can consult a child psychologist. A child psychologist will be able to guide you through and through about what is best for your child and build a customized and structured plan for them, taking their needs and requirements into consideration.
You can take them to an Autism centre for treatment subsequent to the diagnosis or for diagnosis so that your child can live their life to the fullest. An Autism treatment centre can also suggest a bunch of activities, strategies, and tasks one can perform with their child during the holidays. There are several centres where one can achieve the best Autism treatment in Delhi. Look for one such centre near you and approach them for an appointment for the benefit of your child. Also, try out these suggestions and tips with your child, taking into consideration their needs and requirements. Be patient and consistent with your efforts and hope for the best.