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Holiday Gatherings And Overstimulation

Holiday Gatherings And Overstimulation

So while we usually go elsewhere for Thanksgiving, this year a massive rush of family members will be descending upon my neck of the woods for the holiday. There will be 25 people for 2.5 days (1 staying at our house, many staying at my parents' house 10 minutes away where the gathering will be hosted, and several in hotels). My daughter is a young 4, and the past 2 Thanksgivings due to COVID either didn't happen or only with a small core group she's well acquainted with.

But this year, as I… read more

A MyAutismTeam Member said:

I understand how stressful these gatherings can get. A suggestion I can give is when you get to your location, try to find a “safe space” for her to where she can go there and disconnect for a few minutes to calm any anxiety of emotions she is feeling. It’s always important to make sure everyone there knows ahead of time to be patient with her if she seems distant until your daughter becomes more comfortable. And not to force her to participate if she isn’t ready. Honestly I’m always educating my mother as she doesn’t fully get it when my daughter is distant and stemming. If there is a cousin who would be good to pair her up with that might help as well. Bring toys that she finds comforting as well.
The good news is, you are close to home in case you need to leave for a bit.
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

posted 5 days ago
A MyAutismTeam Member said:

One of my brothers usually hosts Thanksgiving and Christmas. When my son was younger (age 2-7), he liked staying in my brother’s room to look at his DVD and Blu-ray collection, browsing and reading the titles and credits. I made sure someone was with him or checking up on him because the bedroom is near the front door. There were a couple of times he ran outside because the door was always left open. 😑😑😑 Another tip: we arrive early before it gets too crowded. Then leave if he felt too overwhelmed. We brought favorite foods and a backpack filled with sensory items, books, iPad, etc.

Happy Thanksgiving! Sending positive thoughts and prayers. ♥️

posted 5 days ago
A MyAutismTeam Member said:

Are there any family members that you trust with your child should your child become uneasy ? If so, I would warn them ahead of time to give them a heads up. Tell them what they should do if your child becomes uncomfortable in a room, situation,etc. Do you know of any comfortable areas or rooms where you can bring your child to if they get uncomfrotable ? Always have a plan A or plan B if one doesn't go well. When my family was invited to places where there would be many people and pets we just kept making sure our son was comfortable at all times and my husband and I would take turns. If your child wants to leave early, just follow their lead.

posted 5 days ago
A MyAutismTeam Member said:

Hi, sounds like you will have your hands full, in a great way! Not sure how your family is but good to give them a heads up about possible things that might occur and why they might happen. I don’t know how much they know about your daughter, so educate them, afterall they’re staying in your home.

For your daughter, you can prepare her by using social stories, subjects: large family gatherings, family staying in your home, changes to daily routine, and having pets around (what to expect). The site I used to use for my son was Sandbox Learning, but TeachersPayTeachers is great too. Just type in some of the ideas I wrote and there you go.

Another thing to do, go on YouTube and type in family gatherings, or family staying at your home. Let your daughter be aware of all the possibilities.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Good luck, let us know how everything works out.

posted 5 days ago
A MyAutismTeam Member said:

How did Thanksgiving go?

posted 2 days ago
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