National Autistic Society – Autism-Friendly Christmas Tips

December 11, 2019

With help from autistic people and their friends and families, the National Autistic Society have put together some tips on how to have an autism-friendly Christmas.  It is quick and easy to fill in a request form to have more detailed tips emailed to you, but 15 of the tips for parents and carers are summarised below:

  1. talk about their hopes and concerns for Christmas as early as possible
  2. use visual supports to explain plans for Christmas
  3. use a calendar to highlight school days and home days
  4. talk to the school, college or support team so that the same strategies can be used at school and home
  5. plan around sensory issues
  6. plan which decorations you will put up together
  7. decorate gradually
  8. avoid a ‘good’ and ‘naughty’ list as this can be distressing
  9. think about planning a list of presents they want to avoid surprises
  10. introduce presents one by one
  11. talk about whether the presents should be wrapped
  12. prepare the autistic person for any changes to food and meals
  13. try and keep meal times the same
  14. don’t just plan for Christmas day, plan for the whole festive break
  15. have a quiet space for your young person to go when they get overwhelmed