This festive time of year should be a magical, happy time for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, disability or indeed anything else. For people with autism and their families, many aspects of the festive period can be challenging but, with a little forward planning, those challenges can easily be overcome.
Jobskin have put together seven top tips to help with that planning and here they are...!
- Create a space in your home that is designated as a 'quiet zone', where those on the spectrum can feel safe and relaxed.
- Be clear about when visitors, be they friends, family members or neighbours, are permitted to visit. Write up a schedule and place it a conspicuous place, such as on the fridge.
- Don't be tied to tradition. Some families choose to have a 'one-day Christmas', where decorations, lights and other festive paraphernalia are put up and taken down on the same day. Others choose to create a 'Festive Room', limiting the impact of change within the house. There are no rules: that means you can make your own to suit you and your family.
- Time out from Festivities can help with calmness. Head out for a walk in the park and enjoy the crisp winter air (this is especially helpful after a big meal!)
- People dressed up for the festive period can be a cause of anxiety so make sure people on the spectrum are well prepared. Show pictures, read stories, find an autism-friendly event or even let them get dressed up themselves! Whatever works for you and them.
- The unfamiliar foods at this time of the year can upset some people on the spectrum who are used to a routine. Again, who cares about tradition? Dinner can be anything that you and they want it to be: throw out the sprouts! Try jazzing up their favourite foods with a festive twist.
- Clothes always make great presents and, if you want to give a gift that will keep on giving, check out the Jobskin collection of garments designed to help people on the spectrum be happier, healthier and more confident. Every garment can be personalised, free of charge with our compliments, by choosing from our unique and extensive collection of motifs, bindings and zips: add a little colour to your life this season!