Celebrations Changes in Routine Can Be Difficult

Sometimes the simplest changes in routine can throw a child with autism for a loop. For example, take the holiday season, most children have no school and the routine gets thrown out the window. Let’s talk about something’s that can throw a child out of his routine.
Because routine is very important these kids, they need a routine securely in place, allowing them to stay up later in the evening or get up earlier or later in the morning can create havoc in a child with autisms day.
The next area that can be important is sights or visual images. To illustrate this, during the holidays a Christmas tree all lit up with flashing lights may irritate the child’s eyes, and cause him to be distracted. So what I found to be helpful is creating an atmosphere that is festive but serene.
Another example is the use of a variety of smells, unfamiliar aromas coming from the kitchen while cooking a Christmas feast can be overwhelming, also the smoke from the fireplace or possibly a scented candle has been known to create a meltdown or two in my house.
This takes us to sounds let me explain, families all gathered, loudly talking, a television set or stereo blaring all at once can create a lot of commotion, making it difficult for the child to remain calm. What I found helpful is to give the child a few choices, one of the is to leave the room and re-group in a quiet space.
I know it’s really easy to escape through the TV; you can cultivate quiet time into your family routine this is good for everyone really. Instead of video games or video tapes there are other options. I think we really need to go back to activities that bring us together. Some examples can be challenging puzzles involving the entire family, or fun games to be played with the child’s brothers and sisters. Symphonic music playing as back ground music is soothing and cultural while looking at books or pictures.
Creating a safe and harmonious home that’s speaks of peace, joy and love so when the challenges come the child has a safe haven to restore and replenish their good thoughts.


no school was the hardest for us this break. This year is the first year Kyle has been in a regular ed class (with full time aide and pulled out a lot). He really likes school and one 3rd grade girl in particular. I'm not sure that he understood that none of the other kids were at school either. Every morning and evening he asked in his one word at a time limited vocabulary school? Abby? It was really sweet, but frustrating, so we called Abby and guess what, she wasn't at school :-)