Autism and the Holidays: 5 Tips for Getting Through This Season With Sanity Intact

santa It’s that time of year again… Christmas decorations, family and friends, jam-packed malls and parades, people in your personal space — a sensory-sensitive child’s nightmare!

Run! Hide if you can, and bury your head in the turkey’s behind if you must… or read about my tried-and-true tips learned through sweat, tears and trial and error.

5) Breathe. It’s 30 days — you can do almost anything for 30 days if you have to.

4) Use the “small doses” rule. Short bursts of holiday/people/noise a day. One hour is usually the max before my boy (and me) are ready to implode.

3.5)  Wine or specially-infused eggnog.

3) Introduce pictures of holiday-type creatures and characters weeks in advance. Preparation people — it’s worth the time.

2) Be aware of the five senses. Your child will be hypersensitive, so be flexible. If they don’t sit on Santa’s knee this year, oh well. The elves look scary and weird so who cares?

1.5)  There’s always next year.

1)  Your Christmas is your Christmas is your Christmas. Your holiday is your holiday is your holiday. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate. The holidays will be what you make of them. So make them happy.

This post originally appeared on The Book of Timothy.

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