Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

December 19, 2014

Holiday tips for kids with sensory processing difficulties

xmasKati Berlin and Abbey Wash, occupational therapists at both offices of Child and Family Development recommend these tips from the STAR Center.  

Holiday celebrations bring joy, and sometimes challenges.  Excited children become noisier, decorations provide greater visual input and the lack of routine make some children more anxious and reactive. For children with sensory processing issues, the daily challenges of communication and social skills can be magnified.  

Here are some suggestions to support communication and emotion regulation for successful social interactions:

  • When changes in the school routine occur, it is important to compensate by providing greater predictability and structure at home.
  • Make a holiday calendar. Create a list or insert pictures of planned activities that are outside the regular routine.
  • Help your child learn basic phrases to use when meeting relatives that he or she hasn’t seen for a while.
  • Provide a break for your child by watching a DVD or quiet time when days are full and busy.
  • Help your child stay regulated by watching for signs of sensory overload or emotion dis-regulation and help your child regain control before it is too late.

Read another blog post for more ideas to help kids at this time of year. 

Happy Holidays!