The Holidays and Special Needs

Tips and Tools to Surviving and Enjoying, the Holiday Season

The holidays can be a hectic time of year, for any one. But when you are a parent of a child, or the caregiver of an adult, with special needs it can become overwhelming for both you and the person you are caring for. Here are some helpful tips to surviving the holidays this year:

  • Decorate in gradual stages, rather than changing everything at once
  • If you do take your child shopping, allow enough time to gradually adapt to the intense holiday stimuli that stores exhibit this time of year
  • Continue using behavior support strategies during the holidays. Try social stories to help with changes in routine, and visual supports to help prepare for more complicated days
  • Wait until just before the holiday to set out gifts, especially large tempting ones
  • Prepare siblings and young relatives to share their new gifts with others
  • Make sure that everyone understands your care-giving situation and has realistic expectations about what you can and cannot do (including yourself)
  • Consider joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities
  • Put respite care on your wish list

Happy Holidays from All of Us at RIPIN

Great Online Resources!

Reducing Holiday Stress for Families with Children with ASD

Military Families with Special Needs: Supports During the Holidays

8 Ways to Help Your Child with Food Sensitivities Enjoy the Holidays

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

11 Tips to Help Kids with ADHD Manage the Holidays

Celebrating the Holidays with Alzheimer’s

More Holiday Tools, Tips, and Crafts for Children with Disabilities, Rhode Island Parent Information Network, INC., 1210 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920


(This article is excerpted from the December 2017 newsletter from the Rhode Island Parent Information Network)


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