How to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Special Needs Child
Updated: Apr 15
All holidays are an occasion to celebrate. From Easter and the Fourth of July to the bigger holiday seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, the holidays offer families a great opportunity to put aside the worries of their everyday life and spend some quality time together as a family. That being said, the holidays can be rough on children with developmental disabilities. The sights and sounds of the holidays, as well as the holiday get-togethers can overwhelm your child with special needs to the point it makes celebrating them difficult and not-so-much-fun. Plus, if you have the judgment of others thrown in who don't understand, this can make the holidays especially challenging.
Inland Respite offers in-home respite care and companion care for parents of children and adults with developmental disabilities throughout Southern California. Our mission is to give you the break you need from the constant care you offer on a daily basis to recharge. All of our compassionate companion caregivers are experienced and screened and ready to lend a helping hand. Below, we'll go over some helpful tips on how to celebrate the holidays with your special needs child. Contact us to get started today!
HOW TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD
With the holidays, there comes a bustle of activities, from family gatherings to shopping, holiday parties at your house, religious ceremonies, and more. Children with developmental disabilities can become easily overwhelmed and overstimulated from all of the activity. However, by planning ahead and preparing your child for what lies ahead, you'll have a better chance of making it through all of the hubbub. Our in-care companion caregivers recommend that you tell your child ahead of time what is coming, and allow for a quick exit if need be when you are at parties, parades, and more.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Let's be honest, many of us worry about the smaller things in life way too much. This would include what your child will be wearing to dinner on Christmas Day with your family or to an Easter egg hunt. Many children with developmental disabilities have clothing sensitivities, and the holidays are not the time to force clothing choices. Instead, try coming up with alternative comfortable clothes that your child likes, such as red and green sweatpants and sweaters for Christmas. This will be seasonal and easy on everyone.
Don't Be Stingy With Fidgets, Tablets, and More
Attending Christmas Eve church services is inherently a solemn occasion. However, trying to get through church service without your child's go-to fidget, toy, or tablet is probably not the most prudent idea. While people around you may frown when you take out your child's iPhone and hand it to them during a candlelight service, having calming and soothing items with you so that your child can make it through these holiday occasions will be lifesaving.
Say "No" When Needed
Many of us feel a lot of pressure during the holidays to attend every event, party, and get-together that we are invited to. After all, it's hard to say no when your best friend plans a holiday party and really wants you there. That being said, there will be days when your child with developmental disabilities is having a rough day and does not feel like going out. You probably know by experience that forcing the issue would just end up to be more stress than it's worth. Be okay with saying no and even with last-minute cancellations. Your friends and family will understand. Instead, grab some popcorn, and watch a holiday movie instead.
Ask for Help
There's never anything wrong with asking for help. With family and friends in town for the holidays, now is a great time to have one of them watch your child while you go Christmas shopping for the afternoon or attend your work party. If you don't have friends or family in town, there are many top-notch respite care services, such as Inland Respite, you can take advantage of. This will allow you to experience more of the holiday season when your child is just not up for it.
CALL INLAND RESPITE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TODAY
The holidays are a stressful time of year for everyone. While they are fun, exciting, and full of joy, there is so much to do and so many places to go that parents with children with developmental disabilities can easily become overwhelmed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, give our in-home companion caregivers a call. Fully-vetted and experienced, we offer help with many non-medical tasks, such as helping with feeding and bathing. We can offer you the break you deserve during the busy holiday season. Our family-owned business in Southern California is dedicated to you. Give us a call for respite care today!