Thriving Through the Holidays

This will probably not be the last post about raising special needs children through the holidays.  As we come across helpful suggestions, we will be sure to pass on the best ideas.  Sometimes one of the biggest challenges of the holidays is simply the fact that lots of what goes on is not “normal.”  Children from hard places thrive best when things are normal and predictable.  So the holiday season seems guaranteed to cause problems.  But it doesn’t have to.

First, we can normalize the holidays to some extent by developing family traditions that we carefully repeat every year.  Parents of special needs children should give some careful thought before creating those traditions, especially if your child has sensory processing issues.  Keep your child’s triggers and challenges in mind and modify what you plan to do.  Maybe we will share some of our family traditions later.

Secondly, keep a careful eye out for holiday activities that will over stress your child – especially if they have SPD.  The following chart is helpful for learning how to “read” the state of your child’s emotional arousal.  When participating in various events and activities, this might help you keep an eye out for your child’s body language and how it might reveal what is going on inside.  Hope it helps!

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