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Does your child exhibit challenging behavior during the holidays? If so, you aren’t alone. Although the holidays can be a wonderful time filled with family, food and fun, it can also be stressful for children with autism. Trumpet Behavioral Health wants our families to enjoy the holiday season, so our caring and knowledgeable team has developed three tips to help you reduce your child’s stress and challenging behavior. [break][break]
The following tips from Trumpet Behavioral Health may help you manage challenging behavior during the holidays.
1. Identify your child’s triggers – Because each child is unique, it can be helpful to list what your child struggles with during the holidays. For some it’s waiting to start a holiday dinner. For others it’s overwhelming to be around so many people and to experience unfamiliar sights, scents and sounds. Understanding your child’s needs can help you plan holiday get-togethers.
2. Prepare your child – Before you and your child attend a holiday event, practice the skills he or she may need during the event. For example, you could practice taking turns, waiting in line or opening presents. If your child has had previous exposure to these activities, he or she may be more successful and enjoy them more.
3. Reach out for help – You’ll be around your loved ones during this time; don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Explain your child’s triggers and behaviors to everyone, and explain how they can help you manage them. For example, you can tell them that your child doesn’t like to be touched. Most people will be willing to help—if they know what to do or avoid.
The team at Trumpet Behavioral Health knows that it can be hard to parent a child with autism. With the stress, it can be difficult to take time to notice progress in your child. Did your child ask to go to a quiet room when he or she felt overwhelmed? Did your child take turns at the dinner buffet? Take pride in any progress, and praise your child for it. These small victories make parenthood fulfilling.
If you have any questions, please contact us today. The Trumpet family is here to help.