Ah the holidays, the time for family, turkey, xmas lights and tons of overloading sensory experiences. This can be an especially difficult time of year for someone with Aspergers, due to the combination of smells, sights, tastes, and social behaviors expected, not to mention all of the relatives who don’t quite understand Aspergers. Here are some simple solutions that you can use to make this fun, yet stressful time more fun, and less stressful:
1. Let your child take frequent breaks – It is really important to let your Aspergers child take frequent breaks. Set up an area of the house where they can be alone and not bothered. This area should have minimal noise, controllable lighting, and no strong smells. This is really important, because of the fact that it is very easy to get over stimulated if you have Aspergers, and then some time to decompress is required. Do not limit the number of breaks your child can take.
2. Be flexible with cooking – Holiday food tends to be especially fragrant. If your child has an issue with a particular food, consider making them something else, or just leaving off the seasoning and sauce. If the food becomes a serious sensory issue, it is better to just save it for another night, rather than go through the fight.
3. Tell your child what is coming next – If you are expecting a large group for a party, or grandma is coming to visit, or whatever it may be, make sure to explicitly tell your child what is going to happen, and what to expect. Then they do not have to deal with the stress of surprises and unfamiliar events.