For children with autism, the holidays take planning and communication

The holidays can be challenging for families of children with autism spectrum disorder. Keys to success during the season are advance communication and planning, including making use of modern media, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital.

"The holidays often mean family gatherings, new situations, music, noise and lights, and this can be overwhelming for anyone, especially a child with autism spectrum disorder," said Dr. Jack Dempsey, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and psychologist at Texas Children's Autism Center. "The goal for parents should be to help their child have fun but to keep them from reaching an emotional extreme, such as feeling overexcited or anxious."

Children with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, and when their emotions run high, they find other ways to express themselves. This could include crying, yelling or lashing out. Parents can prepare by taking a two-step communication approach – first, communication with family and loved ones, and then communication with their child.

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16th December 2016
Medical Xpress