Sensory Tip 6 – Presents…. including clothes!
Presents can be a super exciting part of Christmas, but can also be stressful for some. If your child has sensitivities to certain fabrics, or strong preferences for clothing it can be helpful to let other gift givers know in advance. Providing a ‘wish list’ can be helpful.
Noise toys can also be a challenge for some, so, again it’s useful to make gift givers aware if this is the case. Also, when opening presents that make noise, it can help to give the child advanced warning of the sound. It might be that someone else has a noisy toy you need to be mindful of.
In addition, some children find the excitement of a surprise very overwhelming. If this is the case for your child, it can be helpful to open presents over a longer period. For some children, it helps to let them know in advance that their preferred gift is coming on Christmas day. This can decrease their stress or worry.
And finally 7 – New activities
A visit to Santa’s Grotto is another common event that happens in December. This can be quite stressful for even neurotypical children, and their families. Again, being prepared can help. Some grottos allow you to book in advance. In some cases there are also some ‘autism friendly’ times. This will help children with sensory issues, even if they don’t have autism, as there is a focus on reducing sensory overload. Two examples in the UK are Bletchley Park and Stockeld Park. If you know of any others please tweet us @Griffin_OT or let us know via Facebook and we will add them to the list.
Finally the Christmas meal, it is useful to be prepared for Christmas Crackers. For children with sound sensitivity, they can be a challenge. If you make your own you can leave out the noise maker but still have a lot of fun. Or, again, practice in advance so the child is familiar with them. Or, you can let the child leave the room when they are going to be pulled.