Here are some tips for Home that can be used at school too.
Even if your cultural background does not celebrate Christmas it is impossible to get away from it in during December.
14 Tips for Christmas
- Social Scripts are great to use at Christmas to explain traditions, expectations (ie thank for present even if you already have, don’t like etc) Check last weeks E-newsletter for tips on how to write Scripts
- Children at schools give out cards to each other and this is an important part of “friendships” in schools. Help your child take part in card giving if it is part of the school “culture.” I find getting the class photo a great visual to support to select who to make cards for etc
- Some Classes do a class Kris Kringle. If they have to buy for another child, this is a great opportunity to talk about how to choose a gift for someone else ie “what other people like” how to ask people what they like or observe them etc
- Use a Calender to indicate any changes in routines, concerts, presentations, visitors, shopping, haircuts etc
- Youtube can be a good place to look for Christmas Traditions – ie look at Christmas Morning Routine, Unwrapping Presents etc
- Christmas songs and carols will undoubtedly make their appearance. Find out the words if you don’t already know them – make a little book for each carol or song and get your child to help you illustrate it.
- Buy a CD of Christmas songs and carols to play at home and in the car.
- Read stories about Santa. Explain the Christmas tradition that Santa brings presents. Don’t forget to mention that Santa is clever and can get into our houses even though most of our houses don’t have chimneys! Explain that we don’t have snow at Christmas time that in Australia / New Zealand Christmas falls in the summer. If you don’t explain your child may expect snow.
- Is Santa Real ? For older children they may start asking questions about Santa. Check out my Facebook page where we always have some great tips and ideas about how to approach this sensitive issue
- Make chains and other decorations with your child to make your house look festive. If your child is older enough they could make his own cards and simple presents. Home made wrapping paper – sheets of butchers’ paper painted yellow, red and green adds a lovely touch.
- Cooking is a favourite activity for all children so don’t forget to include making some Christmas cooking on your to do list. Talking about what you think other family members might like is an excellent way of extending your child’s awareness of others and their particular likes and dislikes.
- To make sure that you child understands which presents are for him stick a small photo on the gift tag instead of his name. Put a photo of the gift giver on as well to truly add meaning for your child.
- Take you child out at night to look at the Christmas lights.
- As Christmas is a time for families and friends you need to prepare your child for visitors, both expected and unexpected. Explain to your child it is OK for them to go to his room when people come; that you will be pleased to see them if he feels like joining you. Also remember to tell your visitors which greeting your child prefers ie: that your child does not like to be hugged and kissed and that he would rather just shake hands or greet them from a distance.
14 Great Gift Ideas
Why Great Gift: These mini bean chairs are better than standard bean bags because the bag is already set in the position to sit comfortably in, as opposed to normal bean bags which you have to wriggle around in to get comfy. The sides give children more of an encased feeling. Comes with an inner liner so can be removed for cleaning. Two sizes available: 1-6 years or 6-12 years. Beans not included.
Why Great Gift: These are designed for kids with ASD. They are visual, the red disk disappears as time elapses, making time clear and tangible. Wonderful for time management with clock, alarm and timer modes. Helps keep you on schedule. Remarkably easy to use. Youth and Adult models available.
Why Great Gift: Make Sensory Fun and engaging for kids aged 3-8, Songames are musical activities for improving fine and gross motor skills, muscle strength, and rhythmicity. Comes with CDs and companion booklet which explains how to use music to enhance specific skills.
Why Great Gift: Make Social Skills FUN! This game focuses on social interaction in three key areas: home, school, and the wider community. Children are able practice vital skills such as greetings, turn-taking, eye contact, listening, compliments, emotions, telephoning others, showing interest in what others are saying, sitting appropriately and still, asking and answering questions, using your voice effectively, developing and maintaining friendships, and more. Contains game board, 100 question cards, playing pieces for 2 to 6 players. OR take out the Cards can be used as social questions on a car trip, at the dinner table etc
Why Great Gift Liquid drips through in a 3 minute cycle- children love to watch. Helps with fidgeting, boredom, calming, relaxation. Take approximately 3 minutes for the liquid to complete its cycle.
Stocking Fillers : Sensory Tools
Why Great Gifts
You can never have too many fidget toys. I love ones they can pop on their school bags or in their pockets to help calm, relax, distract etc
Beautiful Picture Books: Educate the WHOLE family this Christmas.
Give the GIFT or Understanding
Why Great Gifts. There are wonderful picture books to explain ASD, ADHD, etc to children. PLEASE consider giving a Picture Book to Cousins, Neighbours, Family or Friends to help people understand ASD. Here are 2 of my favourites but more on website
I am Aspie Girl: Lizzie is an Aspie Girl – she has Asperger’s Syndrome, which means that her brain works differently to her friends, and even to boys with Asperger Syndrome. In this book, Lizzie explains what it’s like to be an Aspie Girl, including how she has a special talent for blending in with her friends, how she gets really tired after being at school all day, how she worries about making mistakes, and how she finds it hard to understand how she is feeling.
Gus The Aspargus: Meet Gus! Gus might be the only asparagus in his family, but he is happy. However, when he goes to school he starts to realise that he doesn’t always ‘fit in’. Gus is here to help kids understand that it’s okay to be different. He will soon become a favourite with anyone who has ever felt a little bit out of place, kids and adults alike.
Why Great Gift: Offers instant calming for people who have a hard time staying in once place for long periods of time. You can put on floor, couch, chair, in car seat etc 33cm diameter.
Why Great Gift: Wonderful DVD for anyone to watch. Make sure you get out your tissues! An accurate portrayal of Temple Grandin’s life which chronicles Temples early diagnosis; her turbulent growth and development during her school years, and illustrates through mentoring and sheer will how a young autistic woman succeeds against the odds. An excellent movie to educate older children (10+), family members and staff on autism.