December 6th -Presents
Consider teaching kids using social stories how to respond when someone gives them a present.
Many Autistic children don’t like surprises, so it could be best to tell your child what their gifts are, or you could put a catalogue picture/ photo on each present as a label.
Clear paper is also a possible option.
Large amounts of presents can overwhelm, so consider limiting how many are opened at once and spread it out over a few hours/ days.
Sounds obvious but remember the batteries. Maybe wrap them with the presents or better still remove the toy from all the packaging before wrapping them and have the batteries in ready.
Wrap presents so that they are easy to open with not much tape to avoid tactile sensitivity difficulties and reduce frustration.
Consider the paper as some paper is really noisy, possibly let your child choose his own paper and even wrap the presents together if necessary.
December 7th- Siblings
Sibling Support Link
Sibling Support Link
As busy as things get its worth trying to make sure you have some time with all your kids, as all the family adjustments can be tricky for siblings to accept. It could just be walking the dog but that 10 minutes out of the house can be really helpful for you and them.
Assign special roles/ jobs to each child as this will help them keep focused and give them structure.
Use social stories to help your Autistic child understand about younger siblings and Santa. It can be hard for some kids to understand why younger children still believe.
Take turns to do family activities with your children instead of not going at all, or worse still forcing your Autistic child to participate. If your child with Autism doesn't like Carol singing but your other kids do, its not wrong for mum to take them and dad to stay at home for example, that’s just the way it has to be, its an adjustment….but it will make everyone a lot happier in the end as its your Christmas too.
Use timetables for all your kids so they don’t feel left out, it can help relieve the stress and anxiety for any child, my daughter with Dyslexia loves to see the plan on a calendar too, it helps her as much as my Autistic son.
Take up offers of help, sometimes if your other kids can go to nanna's for a sleepover it can offer them some much needed respite.
Create some special traditions for siblings only. It could be going for a hot chocolate or making paper-chains. It doesn't need to be much but could help them greatly. If it means your kiddo goes on his iPad for longer than usual then so be it…it's Christmas.