FAQ Friday: Holiday Tips for Families with Children who are on the Autism Spectrum
The Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT) this week released ten of its top tips to minimize challenges for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during the holiday season. IBT is a leading training institute that provides innovative programs to meet the current and emerging needs of parents, caregivers, healthcare providers, and human service professionals across the globe.
“The holiday season is usually a time for celebration and joy, but many families of children with autism find that it can also be a time of stress,” says IBT director Cecilia Knight, MA, BCBA. “These children typically have a tough time coping with change, including different places and different people, and they are often sensitive to loud sounds, bright lights, and even touch. These ten tips are effective for many families with children with autism.”
Knight says families can prevent or reduce most stressful situations with the following ten tips:
1. Make a schedule of activities each day (using pictures or words) to ensure that expectations are clear for the whole family. Set this up ahead of time to help prepare your child for the events of the day and minimize negative reactions to unexpected activities. Also, don’t over schedule the day! Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for breaks and down time.
2. Have your child assist in the order of events or reinforcement schedule for each day (grocery store first, arcade second, then library). This will provide him/her with choices and a sense of control over portions of the day.
3. Take a day trip. Visit a museum or sporting event together; boredom can be your worst enemy.
4. Bring toys, video games, or other entertainment to keep kids occupied during commutes or wait time.
5. Remember to take visual cues (i.e., schedules and communication devices) with you on outings.
6. Try to identify the most important part of an occasion and limit your participation to that time period. Visits, family gatherings, and large events can be stressful for kids/teens. If Aunt Edna’s Thanksgiving Extravaganza always lasts four hours, plan to arrive just in time for the meal and then leave in a reasonable amount of time to avoid meltdowns.
7. Create fun in the home with inexpensive ways to entertain your child/teen. For example, create scavenger hunt, organize arts and crafts activities, build a fort, or play a family game of Twister.
8. Have reasonable expectations, and pick your battles! If your child/teen is a picky eater, focus more on table manners or his/her interaction with family during the holiday feast, instead of pushing him/her to eat a plateful of new foods.
9. Be consistent; schedule lunch, snacks, TV, chores, outdoor activities, or arts and crafts during the same time each day to avoid frustration during vacation.
10. Identify the holiday stressors; either work on them ahead of time or manage them in the vacation schedule. For example, if the endless hugs from family will set your child/teen on the wrong course for the day, then you might need a plan in place to practice that interaction. If that is not possible, then try to manage the situation in the moment with simple and reasonable rules: “Hug three people, and then we will go do something fun together.”
For more information about IBT, visit www.ibehavioraltraining.com.
article provided by http://northdallasgazette.com
Christmas is one of the most giving holidays of the year. Also, it is a time to go out and enjoy the holiday with families and friends.
Below is list of few events that will be happening in Northwest Arkansas that will have free meals, give away free toys, help needy families, enable you to take a picture with Santa, and more.
2012 Holiday Season
Dec. 20, 2012 Christmas Meal
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Springdale & Roger Location
812 North Thompson Street
1211 West Hudson Road
10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
208 West Emma Av
Springdale, AR 72764
Join us at The Jones Center this Saturday, December 1, 2012 for Christmas Goes Pop Figure Skating Show and Skate with Santa.
Tickets include skating show, skating with cast after the show, sleigh rides, games, holiday music, door prizes and festive fun!
Show Times: 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 5:00 PM
Arts Center of the Ozarks
December 1, 2012
Breakfast with Santa
Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to town. They want to you share a special breakfast with them at the Arts Center of the Ozarks.
Each child’s ticket includes: Delicious Breakfast, making a Christmas Frame & Craft, Personal Visit & Photo with Santa, Helping Mrs. Claus Decorate Gingerbread cookies.
Tickets are $15 per child. $5 breakfast only for adult seating times available: 8:30, 9:15, 10:00 am
Call 751-5441 to reserve your spot at Santa’s table!
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – by Barbara Robinson
December 7, 8,& 9, 2012
Mayhem Mixed with fun, offering the perfect message for this special time of year.
Ticket ACO members $16 adults/$9 students; public $20 adults/$10 students
214 S. Main Street
Motor Cycles Harley-Davidson
Bikes, Trikes & Toys for Tots 2012 Toy Run
Each year we’re contacted by families who will have no toys for their children during Christmas. This year along with “Toys for Tots” we have decided to dedicate our toy run to these deserving families.
If you are a family in NWA who will have no toys for Christmas, please sign up here to receive some toys from Santa during our 7th annual Bikes, Trikes and Toys for Tots Toy Run event on Saturday, December 8th.
Due to limited space at our toy run destination we unfortunately can only accommodate 100 total children with 2 adults per family.
This event is open to children 12 years and younger only please.
The deadline to register your kids is Saturday December 1st. Call Buck directly at 479-878-4907
2409 Hudson Rd.
Cross Church Compassion Center
We have free haircuts coming up soon.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Monday, December 3, 2012
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
No appointment needed, and any age welcome. Just come on down and we'll get you in.
2407 S. Thompson
1st Marshallese United Church of Christ
Free Food & Marshallese Culture Dance & Music
Sunday, December 9, 2012
10: 30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Free Food & Marshallese Culture Dance & Music
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
10: 00 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday, December 14, 2102
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
505 E. Emma Ave.
Springdale, AR 72764
- Albious Latior, Marshallese Outreach Coordinator
Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center
Staff of the Family Support Program (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)