Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

December 6, 2016

Holiday help: Surviving the holidays, a sensory approach


Marion Wilm OTR/L C/NDT is an occupational therapist at Child and Family Development- Pineville.  This month, she relies on a favorite parent handout called “Surviving The Holidays: A Sensory Approach” by Lisa Make, LPC, RN.  The tips include:

  1. Stick to schedules as much as possible.   The more usual the routine, the easier holidays and re-entry will be.
  2. Conitue all daily therapy exercises, diets and supplements without interruption.
  3. Carefully choose the people you are around.  They should know your child and be understanding, tolerant and helpful.
  4. If you child is old enough and appropriate, let him contribute ideas for the holidays.
  5. When travelling, take familiar objects (blankets, pillows, toys, books, etc.) for comfort. 
  6. Plan activities with feasible sensory stimulation. Have an exit plan if things get too overwhelming or too boring.  Schedule activities when crowds are low.
  7. Bring sound-muffling headphones to noisy places if auditory input is difficult.
  8. Have plenty of down time between celebratory activities.
  9. Provide information in advance of and during visits to unfamiliar settings.  Creating a social story might be helpful.
  10. Use a calendar as a visual tool and mark off days to stay oriented to time and place. 
  11. Take things off your to-do list and don’t overschedule.
  12. Take care of yourself! Receive a pampering gift, schedule a sitter and take time to appreciate the way things are which can also mean grieving what is not.   

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