Many autistic people love Christmas, but for others the festive period can be stressful and overwhelming. There are many tips online on what you can do to make Christmas a more enjoyable experience for everyone. We have added links to some useful resources below.
Preparing for Christmas
The festive period brings change, which can be challenging for some people. Different events may be taking place at school or work, bright Christmas lights and music appear everywhere and there may be unfamiliar food on the menu. Preparing for these changes in advance can be helpful. Ideas could be using a countdown calendar, sharing precise plans for family gatherings or events well in advance and making the environment as stress-free as possible, by dimming down lights or turning down the music for example.
Letting go of expectations
Just because we may be used to certain Christmas traditions, or see other people celebrating on TV or social media in a particular way, this isn’t necessarily right for our families. If your autistic child doesn’t like surprise presents, eating turkey or pulling Christmas crackers, forcing them to ‘enjoy’ these traditions won’t be very helpful. Instead, think about what works for you and your loved ones and create a new set of traditions that are right for your family. You can find more tips and ideas in the resources below.