The holidays are a time of the year when families get together and celebrate. Delicious food, big family gatherings and lots of activity and noise can be exciting and fun for most parents. However, for parents of special needs children, the holidays can be a reason to panic. Too much noise, too much food and too many opinions on how you should raise your kids can make many parents feel that they are going crazy.
The good news is that there are some things that can be done to turn a frustrating and unpleasant holiday gathering into a peaceful and happy event. Preparation is key to making any holiday gathering successful. Making sure that you talk to your child and providing education on the event they will be attending is essential. This can put them at ease and give them a sense of security.
Depending on your child’s needs, it may be necessary to do role-playing, watch holiday movies and videos, show holiday pictures or sing holiday songs that are relevant to the particular event. Release any guilt you may feel for the need to be so structured and organized. You are being a good parent to your child. You know best what your child needs and providing for their needs is the most important responsibility that you have. During the event, remember to remain as calm as possible because your child will sense your stress and may react negatively.
Have a plan for any meltdowns or stressful moments that may occur. It is important to pack a bag with your child’s favorite things, which may include a tablet, bubbles, stuffed animals or books. If your child becomes overstimulated during the event, you can locate a quiet space so that they can have some time to play and relax.
You may want to set a time limit for how long you will stay at the event based on your child’s needs, but remain flexible and stay longer or leave immediately if the need arises. If the event is at your home, make the child’s room off limits and allow them to use their room as a calm place for escape when needed.
If your child is a picky eater or has sensory aversions, it is a good idea to allow your child to wear clothes and eat foods that cause the least amount of anxiety. A comfortable pair of sweatpants and a plate full of macaroni and cheese is absolutely acceptable. It’s important to remember the overall goal – getting through the event with the least amount of frustration possible. If your child requires special ingredients, make sure to prepare a dish just for them.
At Clear Speech, LLC, they offer special camps and music therapy groups throughout the year that help children with special needs build language and social skills to navigate the holidays and other events effectively. They are a private clinical practice located in Conyers, Georgia.
Clear Speech is dedicated to providing the highest quality speech therapy services for a wide range of speech and language disorders. They specialize in pediatrics, adolescents and adults. Their speech therapists apply the latest strategies and techniques with a caring and enthusiastic attitude so that each session is inspiring and productive. They have developed a reputation for being “the clear choice in speech therapy services” among local pediatricians, physicians and families. They value integrity, compassion and respect the patients, families and communities they serve.
For more information, contact Clear Speech, LLC at 404-202-8490 or visit their website at http://clearspeechllc.com/.