Winter holidays should be a time of celebration and joy for everyone. However, the holiday season brings hidden stresses for many autistic people. Changes in routines, sensory overload, and increased social demands are just a few of the challenges facing autistic children, teens, and adults during this time of year. Fortunately, many of these challenges can be avoided or mitigated. With preparation and understanding, you can foster joy and peace for your whole family.
The articles linked below are written for parents of autistic children. They provide explanations for what your child may be experiencing and offer advice about how to support your child during the holiday season. Writing from personal and/or professional experience, these authors share what they have learned in the hopes that you, your autistic child, and your entire family will enjoy the season.
- “16 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays With an Autistic Child” by Lisa Jo Rudy, VeryWell Health
- “16 Ways to Prepare Children with Autism for Holidays” by Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Easterseals
- “Autism and the Holidays: 10 Tips on How to Prepare” by Michael A. Ellis, DO, Psychology Today
- “Autism and Preparing for the Holidays” by Emily Rastall, Ph.D., Seattle Children’s Hospital
- “Autistic Adults Share What Helped (And What Didn’t) Manage The Stress of the Holidays” by Ellen Stumbo, The Mighty (republished by OAR)
- “Broken routines, crowded gatherings, funny smells: How to help autistic kids over the holidays” by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, The Washington Post
- “Resources to Help Make Your Holidays Happy” from The OARacle
OAR wishes you happy holidays and all the best in 2022.