Posts Tagged ‘Christmas and autism’

How to manage Christmas and autism spectrum disorder

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Christmas can be an exciting and fun time, but it can also be stressful.

Many children with autism can become confused and stressed at this time, with all the sensory happenings and disruptions to routines and sameness.

The sheer chaos that ensues from changes in routine added to the growing anticipation can often be a recipe for melt downs.


However there are strategies parents and teachers can put in place that help the autistic child visualise the Christmas holiday period and make this otherwise chaotic and unpredictable time more routine.


Generally children with autism are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures, therefore visual strategies work best.


Parents can use a normal calendar for marking off dates such as the date the tree will go up, the date you will send cards, bake the cake and so on, so the ASD child can visually see the date and will know what to expect.


Social stories for autism and Christmas are beneficial visual strategies, they can help explain an otherwise confusing activity, skill or situation thus reducing anxieties and making things routine again.


Parents have found many benefits to be had in implementing social skills stories for autism and Christmas, stories can deal with putting up the tree, saying thank you, visiting relatives and so on.


Social skills stories are short visual strategies used to help explain to a child with autism what is happening and why. The social story answers the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others.


To learn more about how to manage Christmas and autism spectrum disorder visit


For many parents Christmas will be a stressful time, but implementing social stories can help you to manage Christmas and autism spectrum disorder.