Archive for the ‘children on the spectrum Christmas’ Category

Christmas time with a child on the Autism Spectrum

Monday, December 11th, 2017

For many children on the autism spectrum Christmas may be a time for stress and anxiety, with the on-going chaos and sensory overload the Festive Season provides.
However there are strategies that parents of autistic children can put in place to help their child cope.
Christmas time with a child on the Autism Spectrum,child on the Autism SpectrumTypically children with autism spectrum disorder ARE visual thinkers and learners; this means that they use speech/language secondary and visual information as a primary means of communication.
So how does this help us at Christmas!
Generally for children on the autism spectrum Christmas is unpredictable, and it is this unpredictability that CAN cause the most distress.
Using VISUAL autistic supports can help.
Characteristically children with autism spectrum disorder respond well to visual autistic supports like social skills stories.
Using autism supports for Christmas
Visual Timetables: Can be used to show a count-down to Christmas, and help the child with ASD visually see what is happening each day on the run up to Christmas, for example buying the tree, putting up the tree, decorating the house, a school play, party and so on.
Photos: Show your child with ASD photographs of last year and how you celebrated to remind them of how the Festive Season is going to be.
Visual Social Story Cards: Can be introduced to help the child with ASD deal with changes to routines, learning new skills and coping with unpredictability. Visual social story cards ARE small laminated story cards which act like a framework of a skill or situation for example the school play. The story card can help the child to understand what is happening and what is expected of them.
Autism social skills stories: Probably the most significant of the autism supports for Christmas. Autism social skills stories answer the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “ how” and offer an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others. The social skills story is a short descriptive story from the autistic child’s point of view which uses visual images to show how and why something is happening and how the autistic child can deal with this, as well as what other people will be expecting of them.
Visual flash cards – PECS: These can be used to help communication difficulties during the festive season.
Therefore Christmas time with a child on the Autism Spectrum need not be too stressful once the right visual autistic supports are put in place, visit:

Christmas with an ASD child

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

The Festive Season is here once more, for the majority of us it is the season of fun and festivities, but for many families with an ASD child Christmas can be fraught with stress and anxiety.


For many children on the spectrum Christmas time is more likely to be filled with difficulties, stresses and anxiety. Their routines can be disrupted and the stability they rely on can go out the window, and be replaced by the sheer chaos of Christmas.


And as any parent of an autistic child knows no matter how small the changes are they can be difficult for the ASD child to cope with.


For many families with an ASD child Christmas and all its sensory overloads is dreaded. However there ARE Intervention Strategies designed to help children on the spectrum deal with many of the issues surrounding Christmas.


Intervention Strategies such as social skills stories, visual social story cards, flash cards, PECS and other strategies ARE used to help children on the spectrum at Christmas time.


These Intervention Strategies can help with skills, behaviours and activities such as decorating the Christmas tree. Many autistic children fail to understand why a tree is decorated.  Consequently Intervention Strategies like social stories ARE used to explain why in a way the child on the spectrum can understand.


For many families Christmas with an ASD child is stressful, intervention strategies can HELP remove some of the stress by helping the autistic child gain a better understanding of Christmas.


Social skills stories are short descriptive pieces of text, written from the point of view of the child on the spectrum, and using visual images or pictures to show the situation or skill much like a comic strip.


Using visual images is known to work with children on the spectrum as they are mainly visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures, making visual intervention strategies like social skills stories excellent resources to use.


Many situations and skills can be addressed using social skills stories, a good social story will act as a role model or visual plan, breaking the situation down into smaller sections showing in a concise manner the “wh” questions – who, where, when, why and what, plus “How” as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others all helping to reduce anxieties, stress ad confusion.


A social story may be edited and personalized for convenience, to learn more about Christmas with an autistic child and how social stories for Christmas can help visit:

Other social stories can be downloaded from:


where you will find information and a selection of social stories for Christmas with your autistic child. Other social stories can be found at: