● Stay aware of his needs when we are out. This means I do things like, make sure he’s got his favourite toy that he needs, bring his iPad to family events in case he needs some down time. I make sure that I have some food or snacks that I know he’ll like in case the food isn’t something that he’ll eat. For any parent that needs: don’t forget a little sensory kit if it’ll be helpful for your child too, here are some ideas
● Watch him to be aware of the signs he’s overwhelmed, overstimulated or needing a break. It’s helpful to have a little flexibility wherever we can in case we need to leave a bit earlier.
● Try to create more situations where it’s enjoyable for all of us rather than what I think everyone else wants of my family. That means if I have to send a message beforehand, letting family members know what my son needs, I will. That often leads to all of us enjoying the time more (including other family members, so I don’t feel guilty about letting people know ahead of time especially if I know it’ll make a difference).
● I don’t make my son kiss or hug any relatives he doesn’t want to and choose very carefully the times I need him to dress up for an activity (which I give warning about in advance and make compromises or deals if I need to), so that I can make sure he feels most comfortable and secure
● (This doesn’t pertain to my son, but it might pertain to your child) The holiday season is probably not the best time for a medication break. It’s already a demanding time for everyone, and there will definitely be some events you have to go to where you’ll need all the help you can get (even with all the things you’ve put in place before hand!), So save the medication break for another time if you can.
● If we’re going to a place that is not very active, we make sure that we plan an activity that he’ll enjoy too to make sure that need is met for him.
● Try to limit surprise for him so he knows what to expect and what is expected of him. For example, if there is a play that we are going to see, I’ll make sure that he sees a trailer of it, hears the story, or learns some of the music in advance, that way he feels prepared and it also raises his interest which is always helpful in managing him.