2014 Military Special Needs Network Holiday Guide Winter 2014 - Page 9

If your child doesn’t like to socialize, help them by providing structure to the amount of time or number of people they have to communicate with:

● You have to answer __________ questions.

● You have to say hello to at least five people.

● You have to be at the party for ___________ minutes before you can take a break, etc.

If you are going on family outings, check to see if there are “sensory friendly” versions

offered (i.e. - a Christmas movie in a theater, a holiday light show, etc.) There are a lot

of places that offer sensory friendly options for families, or that may be willing to offer

accommodations for your family.

● Look for recipes that are accommodating to special diets for your child’s special needs.

For most of us, it is almost effortless to reciprocate common, everyday social conversations. However, when dealing with our kiddos who have special needs - we know this can be really difficult for them.

● It can be helpful for you to model appropriate responses to see how they might

look. Take a few minutes out of a day with your spouse or a friend- practice

these common socializations to help them be ready. P ractice with your child before attending a party. Some examples are:

○ Greetings

○ Answering when someone asks “How are you?”

○ Farewell

It may seem like a little thing, but just a little preparation can make a big difference in the way your child is able to socialize at a party.

Don’t forget to enjoy this time of year and this extra time with your family. Although

the holidays can be hectic, there is nothing like it. It can be magical for all, with a little

bit of extra planning.

Use the following resources to help your child prepare for the holiday season. Included is a “Holiday” social story, to help your child understand what the busy season might bring. Also, included is a structured holiday schedule you can use to help outline your family’s holiday schedule.

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2014 MSNN Holiday Guide / November, 2014 9