I’ve written before about how Christmas can be a tough time for kids on the spectrum, or kids who have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), or kids with a host of other special needs that make typical holiday events such as visiting Santa Claus at the local mall almost impossible. In the past two years, more malls have embraced the sensitive Santa programs, which is great. However (you know there was going to be a however right?), as word about the programs has spread, more and more people are booking sensory-friendly Santa visits and the programs are nowhere near keeping up with demand. It’s not even mid-November and there are no sensitive Santa slots to be had at malls in and around the GTA. Most sold out of tickets (whether free or with a nominal donation usually to an autism related charity) within hours of going on sale. Which is fine because special needs parents can always drop everything to wait online for tickets to be released and nothing ever happens that would require their immediate attention… oh wait.
One of the most common questions I hear during the holiday season is “How do I teach my child gift etiquette?” Gift giving occasions with kids on the spectrum can be tricky to say the least. Gifts may overwhelm, kids may forget the social niceties we spend all year teaching them causing friends or relatives to get upset when a child forgets to thank them, or worse, is unable to tell one of the social white lies when a gift isn’t quite what was expected. I’ve known more than one child on the spectrum who blurted out “I didn’t want this”, “Yuck”,or “I already have this” when presented with a gift that wasn’t on their radar. I have previously written about buying gifts for kids with special needs so this post is going to focus on ways you can help your child both giving and receiving gifts. [Read more…]
With the holiday season fast approaching, I’ve had a few queries as to how best to alert friends and family members as to what the best gift for a special needs child is. Buying gifts for kids at Christmas is tough, and if the child has special needs, it can be hard to figure out what kind of gift the child (and parents) would like. While there are no universal one-size-fits-all recommendations, there are some best practices to follow.
In case you haven’t guessed I’m pretty passionate about my work with kids who have autism. This means that I occasionally get pulled into some of the Autism wars. I firmly believe that there are very few black and white situations in life, and even fewer in the world of autism. There’s a saying that if you’ve met one person with autism, then you’ve met one person with autism. Which is all well and good except it really doesn’t only apply to people with autism. Every person is different, and one-size-fits-all thinking should really be called one-size-really-fits-none. [Read more…]
I’ve got something to tell you, and I’m pretty sure you all need to hear it right about now. Whether it’s back to school time coming up shortly, or your kid has already been in school for the past few weeks, it’s going to be okay. It may not seem like it now – with the routine changes and the frustrations of explaining once again why sitting Johnny by the door is an invitation to disaster, but it will be okay. [Read more…]