Easter and Passover are special times during the year in which friends and families get together for a form of celebration. For many families, these are happy times in which the event is eagerly anticipated; however, for families with children who have special needs, this can serve as a time of increased stress and potentially fear. These parents often worry about how their children will behave and react to these situations.
Below are some helpful tips that parents may utilize to make the special occasion as stress-free as possible:
Let the host know in advance what to expect and what behaviors the child may display. If the host has children, provide information in a kid-friendly manner so that they will be prepared.
Prepare your child by creating a social story or script in which the day’s events are planned and sorted out. Utilize visual schedules to help reinforce the child about what the day will look like.
Pick battles. Many children with sensory needs will refuse to wear a suit or dress. Plan ahead basics, such as clothing.
Set a time limit to the visit. If you know your child is unable to handle social situations or environments in which there is a high amount of action for more than an hour, plan on leaving within an hour of arriving. If you, as a parent, want to stay longer, anticipate this and have a babysitter or caregiver prepared to pick up the child.
Family get-togethers and religious celebrations do not necessarily need to be a fearful or anxiety-provoking event. Remember, you know your child best. If you believe that the situation may be problematic, it most likely will. Anticipate this and create strategies to ensure success for more enjoyable events
Happy Easter and Happy Passover!