Autism and the Holidays

Daniel, an 11 year old boy from Nottinghamshire, attends Catholic School, is afraid of Santa Claus, and might not understand the purpose of Christmas.  

 Old Pine, Come Here Christmas by  PokemonaDeChroma

Old Pine, Come Here Christmas by PokemonaDeChroma

His father, Kevin, told the BBC: "We've tried it on Christmas Day - we tried to get him to sit down and open everything and he had a meltdown. He was really upset. It can take a week to open all of his presents."

Daniel is a student with Autism.  

Students with Autism can become very routine driven.  The Holidays can throw that routine off.  

Patrick, the 4 year old son of Simona Zetu has difficulty with Christmas Dinner.

"We can't force him to eat because he gags," Ms Zetu says. "It is about the texture and colour of the food."

Families can have a hard time incorporating the Holidays into their schedules, but Autism Speaks has a few tips to help:

  • Do Your Best to Maintain the Current Structure and Routine
  • Keep Some Schedules as Consistent as Possible
  • Listen to Your Child
  • Get a Break