Getting Ready for a Festive Season!

Children Riding On Parent’s Shoulders On Countryside Walk


The festive season is a lively, fun time of year! The sun is out and so is the WA community, soaking up the warmth and end of year celebrations. It can also be a very busy time of year preparing for the celebrations and the new year ahead.

School is ending for another year and work is wrapping up – holidays are approaching, and this means our time doesn’t tend to be as structured and planned as it is for most of the year. However, for many people with Autism it is that familiar structured routine that helps them through each day.

The well-understood daily routines may suddenly change and the familiar furnishings of the house seem different as decorations coat the walls and surrounds. The festive season is a time when families get together to socialise, reflect and catchup with lots of talk and laughter. All of this, for some may be sensory overload.

We’ve explored some of the of the ways we can help make things easier for a child or adult with Autism during this time of change as well as a range of tips and activities to help you have the best holiday season yet! 

Christmas Decorations 

 

Decorations are huge part of getting into the Christmas spirit! They can be bright, glittery and make you feel like Santa is just around the corner. While decorations can lift our spirits, for some individuals with Autism this can be a sudden change in their routine or a sensory overload. By decorating the house, in the spirit of Christmas, it is a change to our day-to

-day routine.

A plan for decorating or changing the house might entail a count-down showing the day when decorating takes place, and importantly when the house is to be restored to normal. If the family member with autism participates in decorating it might even become a fun family activity.  

Preparation is the Key!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For children and adults with Autism the day-to-day routines can be important to their independence, efficiency and general sense of wellbeing. Through routine the purpose of the day is made clear. Knowing that, and with Christmas approaching, our routines may change so let’s begin to plan.

For an adult with Autism, solidifying a routine during this period may involve an act as simple as marking the calendar or visually showing upcoming social events and helping them plan ways to work around any potential closures or changes. For children

You can find a range of social stories below that may be useful to you during this period:

 

 

If you’re planning on going away this holiday break, check out this blog that has some great tips on creating a social story or holiday book to make it fun and memorable trip!

 

Looking for Places to Visit these Holidays? 

There are heaps of activities happening throughout Perth – starting now! If you’re looking for some activities and ideas to help make these holidays memorable, check out the what’s happening in your local area during this period:

Central:

  • The City of Vincent will be hosting a range of Christmas festivities, one these is the famous Beaufort Street Christmas Festival.
  • Check out The City of Perth Christmas Lights Trail or you can also check out the Nutcracker at His Majesty’s Theatre.

North:

East:

  • Head to Midland and create your own beautiful Christmas wreath from native plants with The City of Swan.
  • Take a drive up to the Perth Hills to visit the Kaarakin Black Conservation with The City of Armadale.

South:

We also have a great cheat sheet on Remember to check out the visual ideas to prepare for these outings!

 

Party time

 

While some individuals with Autism love dancing to their favourite music, relishing the busy party atmosphere, for others it can be overwhelming.

It is often that When we know this is likely to be the case, consider:

  • Limiting the duration
  • Providing sound protection (e.g., earmuffs or other ear pieces)
  • Ensuring their favourite food is available
  • Dressing in their favourite clothes
  • Providing an escape hatch i.e. a quiet retreat, if that’s where they prefer to spend party time.

 

We hope that these tips help you to stay safe, relax and enjoy the festivities! 

 

 

 

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