Thanksgiving is an exciting holiday for many people. Going to a relative’s house, eating delicious food, and spending quality time with loved ones are a few of the many reasons people enjoy Thanksgiving. For individuals on the autism spectrum, Thanksgiving can bring up opposite feelings. Below is a list of ideas that can help you through the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday.
Prepare ahead of time
Creating a list ahead of time can help you better remember what to do on the holiday. This list can also be used as a schedule to keep you on track during the busy day. Make sure you include the items your child will need, such as a tablet, favorite animal, headphones, etc. that is something they could potentially want on the day of. You can also pack everything you will need to take the night before, so everything is ready to go and in one place. Something as simple as a list can mean so much on the busy day.
Communicate to your loved ones
Thanksgiving is known as the holiday that brings families and loved ones together around the dinner table. Whether you are the one hosting the holiday or traveling to someone’s house, discussing your feelings with those who will be attending can relieve stress beforehand. During this discussion, you can bring up any of the worries you may have. This can be a great time to figure out a game plan that your family will be familiar with in case it is necessary during the gathering.
Pack a snack
Your child may not like the typical Thanksgiving meal, and that is okay! If you are attending a Thanksgiving outside of your own home, ask the host or hostess what type of food they are expecting to have. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so packing a meal you know your child will enjoy can greatly reduce the chance of a sensory overload.
Relax the day of
It is easier said than done, we know! At this point, you will have done everything you could have to prepare for the holiday. On the day of, try to enjoy the time with your family and loved ones. If at any point your child becomes uncomfortable, do not stress about it. You have notified the guests about potential difficulties and they are aware of the situation. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and the time with your family!
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