Well, hello again! We’re working on our color-by-numbers turkeys and all the different fun crafts that we’re getting ready to do for Thanksgiving. While we were working on the crafts we were thinking about how the holiday time is really approaching quickly, and we need to think about how to plan those holidays. We think sometimes they sneak up on us so quickly that we end up committing to things that we haven’t really planned or thought through, and sometimes we end up in a difficult situation.
First and foremost, if you’re one of our clients and you’re going to be taking time off from therapy during the holidays, please let the office know that you will be off! We’ll be happy to adjust your schedule and reschedule you.
We will only be closed on Thanksgiving Day. We will be open all the other days because this can be a great time for our families to get caught up on therapy! We can accommodate additional sessions for people who are going to be off work and school and who want extra time.
But we want to remind everyone as we go into the holidays: The holidays are really exciting, they’re a lot of fun, it’s a new season—but they can be very stressful. So we need to think carefully about how we’re planning our holidays.
Some of our families will be going out of town, and some of our families will stay locally. Some of our kiddos have pretty moderate to severe sensory issues, and it’s important to think about whether traveling is really the best idea for those kids. Please talk to your therapist about this—they know your child’s specific situation, and can really help you with decision-making and planning travel. The problem with travel is that it presents a whole new schedule and environment, and that can be really tough for a child who is not flexible or adaptable. So please consider that when you’re thinking about travel.
Here are four ideas to help families celebrate Thanksgiving with special needs children:
1. Schedule and plan
If you travel, we suggest setting up a schedule and sticking to it throughout the trip. Plan out your trip so that you can take frequent stops. Show your kiddo the schedule so that they know how things are going to go. Make it an exciting experience!
2. Find out about food
We suggest finding out exactly what they’re going to be serving at Thanksgiving and what the routine will be so you can prepare and pre-plan for the day. Many of our kids are very picky eaters and they won’t eat certain things, so you want to make sure you’ve covered that.
We suggest packing the most comfortable clothing if you’re going to travel. Don’t bring that new pair of pants or sweater that’s made out of wool that they’re going to be poking and itching at. Pack comfortable things that won’t cause additional irritation or stress.
4. Stay home!
If traveling is just more than you can handle, stay home! Maybe everyone can come to your house, and you can set and control the schedule. Or maybe, this might be the year to just have a quiet Thanksgiving with your family.
You have many options! Just take some time beforehand to think about what your child needs in order to handle the holidays, and plan for that. If you need some tips that are more personalized for your child, please reply back to this email. Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!