Tips for Parents of Special Needs Kids in Dealing with Holiday Stress

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

The holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time of the year, filled with friends, family and fun things to do.  Unfortunately, many families get stressed during holidays with all of the extra things that need to be completed.  From decorating to buying gifts, the pressure on families can be astounding.  Here are a few tips to decrease your family’s level of stress during the holidays, which will help your special needs child:

  • Know that it is okay to say no.  One of the biggest sources of family stress during the holiday is simply trying to do too much.  While your whole family may have travelled in the past or you have been invited to several different holiday parties, which would mean that you would need additional childcare, these plans may need to change in order for you to control your stress level.  Say yes selectively as the parent of a child with special needs.  In order for your child to be at their best, you need to be rested and relaxed.  Saying no is the best path to that type of mindset.
  • Limit the amount of time with extended family.  If your special needs child doesn’t see extended family regularly, then limiting that time is a good idea.  This will also decrease your stress level as you won’t be worried about how to manage the situation.
  • Take a break.  Take time each day to do something for yourself.  While you may be working on making the holiday as wonderful as you can for everyone else, your own exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed won’t make anyone happy.
  • Scale back on decorations.  If you have decorated elaborately in the past, take a year and allow it to be minimal.  Not only will your child respond to less stimulation, but you won’t spend energy on decorating.

Need help managing the holiday stress for your family? Call the friendly experts at Peak Potential Therapy today for support and to learn about our services.  Call now!