On this day of only 5 sleeps to Christmas it is time to write my last post for the year. I thought I would make it a short and sweet list of things to do that may help you have a more peaceful Christmas if you are including a child who has special needs. Many of these were suggested to me by parents of children with conditions such as Autism.
Hints for having a peaceful, inclusive Christmas
- An orientation:
- A guest list:
- A Routine or schedule:
- A way of communicating:
- A plan for anxious moments:
Tell the parent and the child, and anyone else who you think may need to know, where the room is and when it can be used. Make it clear that the space is out of bounds to anyone except those who need time out. Oh, and think of time out as a restorative process not a punishment. You could use these symbols to help the child know when it may be time to re-join the activities.
Understand that these are things that they may take longer to learn than their peers. See this behaviour as an opportunity for patience and learning. If you take the perspective that every behaviour has a reason behind it, then your response will be measured and supportive. It will focus on helping to stop the behaviour rather than punishing or criticising it.