November 17, 2023
It's Thanksgiving Time!
Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude, family, and delicious food. It's a holiday that can be both heartwarming and, at times, a bit challenging. When you have children with special needs, the holiday may require some additional planning and consideration. However, with some thoughtful preparation, you can create a Thanksgiving that's enjoyable for everyone.
1. Communication is Key
Before the big day, engage in open communication with your child. Discuss the Thanksgiving plans, who will be present, and any potential changes in routine. Visual aids or social stories can help children understand what to expect.
2. Create a Comfortable Space
Designate a quiet, comfortable space where your child can retreat to if they become overwhelmed. Having a sensory-friendly zone with their favorite toys or objects can be reassuring.
3. Prepare Special Meals
If your child has dietary restrictions or sensory issues, plan a special meal that accommodates their needs. There are many delicious recipes for allergies or special diets that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
4. Keep Routines in Mind
Try to stick to your child's routine as closely as possible, even on Thanksgiving. Consistency can provide comfort, and it's essential for children who thrive with structure.
5. Plan for Sensory Sensitivities
Loud noises, strong smells, or unfamiliar textures can be overwhelming for children with sensory sensitivities. Inform your guests about your child's needs and consider sensory-friendly Thanksgiving decorations and dishes.
6. Engage in Fun Activities
Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to engage your child in fun, age-appropriate activities. Whether it's a craft, game, or a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt, interactive activities can keep them engaged and entertained.
7. Emphasize Gratitude
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. Encourage your child to express what they're thankful for and be sure to acknowledge their feelings. It's a valuable teaching moment and a way to connect with family.
8. Get Support
Don't be afraid to lean on family and friends for support. They can help with childcare, offer understanding, and make the day more manageable.
9. Self-Care is Crucial
Take care of yourself. Navigating Thanksgiving can be demanding, so make sure you find moments for self-care and relaxation.
10. Focus on the Joy
Thanksgiving is ultimately about celebrating the joy of being together. Embrace the uniqueness of your family and remember that love and togetherness are what make the holiday truly special.
Thanksgiving can be both rewarding and challenging. By planning ahead, you can ensure that this Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and togetherness for your entire family.