Christmas Season Spectrum Style

Christmas Season Spectrum Style

The bells are ringing, the carols are singing and the delights of the festive season are upon us. Now don’t get me wrong, we love Christmas in our house, I personally love the traditions and joys that come with the mistletoe and tinsel. But let me very candid for a moment.

The myriad of gatherings and events that come with Christmas can feel like a marathon at times! Add autism to the equation, and you may also find sensory overload, shutdowns, meltdown, angst and lashings of anxiety,

Don’t panic! There are ways you can help make Christmas a success, ENJOYABLE and to reduce the stress for all.

Planet Spectrum Australia

  1. Visual timetable/social stories.

Preparing your little person for what is going to happen on Christmas day, and running through a sequence of events with help bring down the anxiety. This is crucial. If anxiety is high, the computer will say no, and you are on a one-way street straight to stress town. A social story of where you are going, who is going to be there, what is going to be there and what is going to happen is highly recommend.

 

2.  Being Mindful.

Think of the environment you are about to enter (or host) if there is going to be a lot of noise, lights smells, etc. Now arm yourself with possible to tools to combat these. Earmuffs, noise canceling headphones, stretchy bands (great for pressure and easy to carry), bubbles, fidget toys, security toy/ weighted blanket or toy.  Make allowances for a quiet space- perhaps there is another room where your little one can retreat to for quiet time and social breaks.

Planet Spectrum

3.  Sensory friendly!

Be alert to possible triggers and alter these if possible. For example Christmas carols- can they be turned down or even off for a while? Keeping your little person regulated is the key! Are they seeking pressure, spinning, swinging, or calm?.

 

4. Patience- Behaviour.

Behaviour is communication. Remember, when our little ones are starting to lose it, being oppositional, screaming, lashing out- they are not giving you a hard time- they are having a hard time.

Planet Spectrum Australia

5. Advocate for your little person

Not everyone has the same understanding of your little one and what makes them tick. Help your child (if they need) to engage in conversations. Too often in family situations, there are the dreaded hugs and “give your Aunty Fran a kiss.” Just No. Respect your child’s boundaries and right to personal space.

Ultimately it is all about not stretching yourselves too thin.

You know the old saying- leave when you’re still having fun? So relevant! Leaving when things are still enjoyable will create great, fun, happy memories of the Christmas outing, thus helping for next year, as Christmas will be associated with a good time. Being Mindful, and looking for triggers can be exhausting, allow yourself to leave with some energy left in the tank.

Celebrate! 

There may have been a few hiccups, hurdles and spot fires… But you did it.

For more information about creating a happier life with Autism Click Here

 

Autism Christmas Shopping Guide

Christmas is coming up (eeeek!), and you will most likely be starting to think about what sort of gifts to buy the little one in your life.

Gifts for kids on the spectrum can be such a joy when you find that gift that also serves some functionality for a child with autism. So we here we have your Christmas Shopping Guide for spectrum kids!

1. Mini Trampoline – jumping on a trampoline provides feedback to the body and pressure which helps to calm and regulate the body.

Pressure has an influence on the amygdala and has a regulatory effect on sensory processing. It reduces the overwhelming impact of stimuli received. Pressure helps calm and soothe an over-stimulated or ‘anxious’ nervous system and provides a safe and protected feeling.

For all things sport related, we enjoy the quality and service at Rebel Sport. Check this trampoline out HERE. 

Rebel Sport Trampoline Shopping Guide for Christmas for Autism Planet Spectrum

2. The IKEA PS SWIVEL CHAIR

This one has been incredibly popular in our house, you can pull down the front cover to create a little nook and egg- a safe pod blocking all outside stimuli. You can also spin the chair which my children love. Sometimes with spectrum children the spinning movements can assist. How?
Spinning is a human movement that helps to activate the vestibular system, many children on the spectrum will engage in spinning as a natural response to seeking sensory information.

Check them out here: IKEA

Swivel Chair Shopping Guide for Christmas for Autism Planet Spectrum

3. Tubaloo.

This fabulous quirky gadget is quite popular with speechies and in the classroom. My kids love this, and our social media followers tell us their kids do too. So what on earth is a Toobaloo?

You speak into a Toobaloo with the other end connected to the ear, so all you can hear is your own voice to help block out other noises. Auditory feedback is a tool that is effective in assisting children to listen to themselves to correct pronunciation, tone, and rate of speech but also more importantly children can block out distressing sounds. The Toobaloo provides crystal clear auditory feedback.

Check out the Toobaloo here. 

Tubaloo Christmas Shopping Guide for Autism Planet Spectrum
4. The good old snow globe.

Glittery, shaky and calming. Cmon, what isn’t to like about a snow globe?
Watching and focussing on gently falling snow helps a child regulate. It can have an incredibly calming effect on a child with autism.

Check out the selection on Etsy. Click here for the snow globes we found. 
We love Etsy, it is an excellent website for homemade, makers and startups and we love supporting small business too! Warning: you can find yourself browsing forever.

5. Calling all creatives- this one is the gift of all gifts for Christmas.

Red Bubble is a fantastic website where you can take any photo you love and put it on everything from clothing, t-shirts to iPhone covers. Does your child love washing machines? Yes, you guessed it, you can put a picture of one on a t-shirt from Red Bubble. You design it, they print it. The quality is, and they have an excellent delivery system in Australia. You can find art, canvasses, and designers from all around the world as well. So a t-shirt for the poppet, a new art piece for mum. Win-win right?

Click here for RedBubble 

Red Bubble Planet Spectrum recommends

So, you have a start! We would love your suggestions too, what have you come across that your children love? Share it in the comments below!

Would you like your family to get some understanding of what it is like to be on the Spectrum and how they can help? Welcome to Planet Spectrum has sold out, again and again, it is written simply for easy understanding, and we have filled workshops with Grandparents and relatives keen to know how to support their kids and grandkids. This tells us something- they need some knowledge too. A nice little addition for under the Christmas tree.

To get your hardcover copy click here: PLANET SPECTRUM BOOKSTORE