Getting through the Holidays with your Sensory Sensitive Child
Christmas. Many of us view Christmas as a joyous time of year. Children around us are filled with anticipation, giggles, extra "acts of kindness", and often exuberant energy! Unfortunately, it is not like that for all of our kids.
The Holiday Season brings about so many sensations that many of us view as something to look forward to! The smell of pine, the bright lights, sounds of bells, the parades filled with bustling people, crowds and "joy". New foods, expectations of smiling for Christmas pictures, gatherings with new people, rules and expectations.
Some kids take it in stride. They can "go with the flow" with relatively few tantrums and unexpected behaviors. Other kids, however, struggle. Overly sensitive children feel these sensations, and changes of routines as potential threats to their predictable and mostly, comfortable surroundings.
The results? Meltdowns of substantial size. Exasperated and frazzled parents. Relatives and friends with concern, helplessness and sometimes un-asked for advice that leaves parents feeling defeated and judged. Christmas becomes a dreaded season.
While no one can predict everyday, event, and occurrences during this time, being prepared and giving the people around you a "heads-up" can be helpful when faced with potential triggers to overreactions and behaviors with substantial magnitude.
The benefit of preparing our children through practice, social stories and accommodation can be critical to the success of this time of year. Educating the people around us to support you and your child is crucial as well! I have prepared a letter that you can print off and share with those who love you and your child. The letter gives perspective from your child in hopes to give others an understanding of what they experience.
I hope with this season, you experience more joy than dread. I do know that with each passing year, you and your child will be better prepared for what to anticipate and prepare for. You both develop an understanding of what is not enough and what is too much.
Merry Christmas from Big Play in a Box. Take time to enjoy the special moments and joys whether small or big. Reach out with any suggestions, questions or specific concerns as I would love to problem-solve with you to help create memories that provide smiles!
-Miss Connie, OTR/L
Get Your printable letter HERE.