FASD Holiday Hints
Dec 08, 2021
A caregiver in our private Facebook Group asked: Am I the only one seriously considering cancelling Christmas?
We know this time of year can be challenging. So, if you feel like cancelling Christmas, or want to reduce meltdowns or overload, check out these top 8 ideas or hints for the holidays suggested by other caregivers:
- Change (or adjust) your expectations.
- Create new traditions that suit your family.
- Keep routines. No late nights. No junk food. No increase in screen time.
- Vary gift-giving, opening and displaying throughout the month.
- Fewer decorations, fewer activities, and more downtime.
- Limit access to all the marketing and advertising.
- Stop celebrating Christmas completely or switch traditions, to simpler ones such as Solstice.
- Pull your kids close and give them lots of cuddles and hugs.
We know there are times when you will want to decorate, engage in activities or visit family or friends. Some additional ideas that may help:
- Ask your child what they want or offer a choice of would you rather?
- Think of all the senses and your child’s sensitivities when attending activities or decorating: sight, sound, touch, smell, etc.
- Prepare ahead of time: Let your child know where you are going, what you will be doing, eating, when and how you will be leaving.
- Come up with a signal your child can give if they need to leave.
- Ask or arrange ahead of time if there is a quiet space your child can go to if overwhelmed.
- Bring favourite fidgets, sensory, calming and comforting items to help with regulation.
- Speak up and model for your child if you see they are uncomfortable in a situation. Leave early if you find it is too much.
- Recognize when your child is trying.
If you do celebrate this time of year, whatever it is that you do, we hope that taking time to plan, recognize differences, and provide accommodations will help reduce anxieties so you can all enjoy spending time together making memories. Because isn’t that what this is all about? And if things go wrong … as they sometimes do, despite our best intentions and planning, give yourselves compassion and time to decompress.
If you are a caregiver, and aren't a member of our private Facebook group and need more tips, click here: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Caregiver Success Support Group