Christmas is fast approaching. A big part of Christmas is transforming the house, inside and out with Christmas decorations such as lights, tinsel, shiny baubles and smiling Santa faces galore! However, for kids on the spectrum, Christmas decorations can mean a sensory overload and might cause confusion and stress with all the changes to regular look of the house and their “space.”
Here are some tips on how to cope with the sensory overload of having a houseful of Christmas decorations:
• Get your child involved. They might like to choose a special decoration at the shops to hang on the tree. You could encourage them to focus on a particular job such as decorating the bottom half of the tree or something else at their height level.
• Make Christmas Decorations. Helping make decorations might help ease the sensory overload. We have some great items in our Arts and Craft section to help this. This Photo CD Ornament is a great idea as you can use photos of familiar faces and even the family pet which will certainly make it easier to deal with strange and new decorations. This Handprint Santa is also a lovely way to get your children involved.
• There are some certain decorations such as blinking lights, lots of glittery decorations such as tinsel and random noisy ornaments like talking Santas that can wear down senses over time. before your child reacts, try and plan carefully exactly the type of decorations you will include.
Getting your child involved in making Christmas decorations and decorating the house is an excellent way to help them cope with the changes that come this time of year. They will love to feel responsible for making the house look “pretty” and Christmassy and this will also give them a sense of pride when they can see their gorgeous homemade decorations hanging on display.