How To Help Your Child Enjoy Their Turkey Day

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

Ah, Turkey Day.  Time to turn on some parades, enjoy some great food and enjoy a football game with the family.  The traditions on Thanksgiving are just about universal at this point.  But to a child with ASD, what is a “routine” holiday is anything but a routine day for them.

You’ll see a recurring theme in blogs about helping kids on the spectrum: repetition.  Kids generally like schedules and routines.  Kids with ASD LOVE them, and any change, even one with the potential of a lot of fun like a holiday, can be stressful.

So how do you take the stress out of Turkey Day for your child on the autism spectrum?

1. Get Ready In Advance.
Let your child know ahead of time how the day will unfold.  Let them help make the schedule and include an activity or two that is something you know they will enjoy.  Keep the schedule as close to normal as you can, and include time to decompress in between activities as the day allows.

2. Make Sure Your Child Gets To Participate When They Want To.
What is a chore to an adult, like baking a pie or washing dishes, can be a lot of fun for your child. Let them find their spots where they would like to participate and reward them for helping and staying on task.

3. Thanksgiving Can Also Be Chicken Nugget Day.
If your child doesn’t particularly like turkey, don’t force it.  Have an alternate meal ready to go to avoid stressing them out about food.  This is an easy fix and there will be plenty of other things going on that are stressful.  Don’t make food one of them.

4.Give Your Child An Escape Route.
Sensory overload can come on fast.  Make sure your child has an easy escape route from the table if necessary, as well as a quiet spot to go and calm down if things get to be too much.

 Peak Potential Therapy is thankful to have the opportunity to help so many wonderful children grow with our programs.  Contact us to get ready for our exciting winter programs as well as all of our year-round therapy-based programs!