As a disabled person or family member of someone with a disability, you have probably experienced the chaos of shopping malls, increased traffic and getting ready for a well-deserved break. The preparation can be rather stressful, so we have put together a few tips that will help make it an anxiety-free event for those with special needs
#1. Code Words for SOS
Decide on a code word for you and loved one with special needs. This word can be used when you or your loved one is feeling overwhelmed. This code word means its time to move to a quiet calm space when there are just too many sensory activities causing anxiety.
#2. Get The Gear Ready
For those who are sensitive to sensory stimuli, it helps to pack in some earplugs, sunglasses and comfortable clothing.
#3. Keep the Bling to a Minimum
Keeping the decorations to a minimum for those with special needs is important. Try to use natural colors instead of shiny bright colors.
#4. Forget About The Wrapping Paper
There is nothing more frustrating than giving a child with special needs or cerebral palsy a gift to unwrap. And I don’t mean frustrating for you, but rather for them. After all who wants to do therapy on Christmas day. The best thing to do is leave the gifts in a beautiful display at the bottom of the tree – wrapping excluded.
#5. Give Familiar Gifts
Children with special needs prefer familiar gifts. Unfamiliar surprises are not always welcoming. Stick with what they know and like.
#6. Lay Off The Perfumes
Ask guests to avoid perfumes that are overpowering as this could set a child with autism off. Rather use natural subtle scents such as vanilla or cinnamon.