Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holidays should be fun - not stressful!




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Many family caregivers of children with special needs struggle with trying to follow holiday traditions given the other stressors in their lives.  Here are some ways to make this time of the year easier for families.

It doesn’t need to be the same 

Family caregivers need to realize that their children can participate in holiday festivities but maybe in a different way than has been traditional.  Like school, holiday activities can be modified to accommodate the special needs of their child. 
 
v   If your child is on a special diet for medical reasons, find out what is being served ahead of time and bring a “safe” version so your child can still eat what everyone else is having.
 
Photo www.nhs.uk     
 
v  If going to a religious service, bring a comfort item like a stuffed animal or a quiet activity like a coloring book to keep the child entertained.
                                             Photo www.idahofederation.org 
 
v  Make sure ahead of time that the venue (if it’s somewhere you’ve never been) is physically accessible for people with disabilities
 
                                             Photo www.nlfolk.ccom
 
 
Ways to decrease “meltdowns” 
Many children with special needs become overwhelmed by sensory issues (sights, sounds, even smells.)  When children with disabilities get to the point of “too much”, often they act out as a way to communicate.  There are things parents can do to reduce sensory over-stimulation and avoid these behaviors. 
 
Ø  In a crowded event, sit or stand on the outside of the crowd to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.  Even if the child can only participate for a short time, it’s better than not at all.
 
Ø  If your child is sensitive to noise, bring headphones. 
 
Ø  If your child is overly sensitive to light, bring sunglasses. 
 
Ø  If possible, find a quiet corner away from the main activity so the child can calm down and rejoin later. 
 
Ø  Some children even get overwhelmed by opening too many gifts.  Open one or a few and save the rest to spread out over several days instead of all at once. 
 
Ø  Social Stories will help prepare the child about what to expect.
 

                            
                                                  Source:  www.setbc.org 


Most people will understand if the child with disabilities doesn’t act perfectly.  If extended family members insist on traditions such as sitting at the table, parents can take turns eating.  If grandparents or others still don’t understand, it may be necessary to make a separate visit with just the family and grandparents in a smaller group to keep things are calmer.  Family caregivers need to remember that special needs don’t go away just because it’s the holidays! 

Resources

Surviving the Holidays with your Sanity Intact (One Place for Special Needs)

 
 
Enjoying The Holiday Family Gathering With Your Special Needs Child (Delaware Family-to-Family Health Information Center)
 


Reduce Holiday Stress with Proper Nutrition and Health Promotion (National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability)
http://www.nchpad.org/252/1652/Reduce~Holiday~Stress~with~Proper~Nutrition~and~Health~Promotion


Social Stories



For Caregivers

10 Tips for Caregivers During the Holidays (AARP)
Spanish http://www.aarp.org/espanol/hogar-familia/prestar-cuidados/prestar-cuidado/info-11-2013/consejos-estres-cuidadores-amy-goyer.html?intcmp=AE-HOME-TOSPA-TOGL

 
 
 
Caregiving and the holidays: from stress to success! (Family Caregiver Alliance)
 
 
Caregiver’s Guide for Managing the Holidays (Caregiver Alliance-Boston)http://www.caregiveralliance.org/news/holidayguide.pdf
 
Remain Hopeful,
 
Lauren
 
Lauren Agoratus is a parent/advocate who works for the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network and serves as the NJ Coordinator for Family Voices (www.spanadvocacy.org), a national network that works to “keep families at the center of children’s healthcare” at www.familyvoices.org or FB www.facebook.com/pages/Family-Voices-Inc-National/137783182902269.  She also serves as NJ representative supporting caregivers across the lifespan for the Caregiver Action Network (formerly National Family Caregivers Association) in a volunteer capacity at http://caregiveraction.org/ or FB www.facebook.com/CaregiverActionNetwork.
 

35 comments:

  1. The tip about bringing a “safe” version of holiday food is FANTASTIC. I cannot say enough good things about this and the positivity surrounding it. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for anyone, but children tend to have their own stress, and take on the stress of adults as well. But with careful care and consideration, there is no reason this can’t and won’t be a joyous season for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello to everyone out here, I am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me … My name is Susan Christian , I live in London, UK. we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do, i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr Emu for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 24 hours my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr Emu casted on him that make him come back to me today, me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr Emu for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact Dr Emu ,if you need his help you can contact him through his private mail: emutemple@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website https://emutemple.wordpress.com/ fb page Https://web.facebook.com/Emu-Temple-104891335203341 and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

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  2. The tip about bringing a “safe” version of holiday food is FANTASTIC. I cannot say enough good things about this and the positivity surrounding it. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for anyone, but children tend to have their own stress, and take on the stress of adults as well. But with careful care and consideration, there is no reason this can’t and won’t be a joyous season for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your kind words! Yes I agree, the key is to minimize the stress on the children, making it easier for the whole family.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I live in usa and life is worth living comfortably for me and my family now and really have never seen goodness shown to me this much in my life as I am a mother who struggles with three children and I have been going through a problem as seriously as my husband found a terrible accident last two weeks, and the doctors states that he needs to undergo a delicate surgery for him to be able to walk again and I could not pay the bills, then your surgery went to the bank to borrow and reject me saying that I have no credit card, from there i run to my father and he was not able to help, then when I was browsing through yahoo answers and i came across a loan lender MR TONY HARTON, offering loans at affordable interest rate and i have been hearing about so many scams on the internet but at this my desperate situation, I had no choice but to give it an attempt and surprisingly it was all like a dream, I got a loan of $ 50,000 and I paid for my husband surgery and thank God today is good and you can walk and is working and the burden is longer so much on me more and we can feed well and my family is happy today and i said to myself that I will mourn aloud in the world of the wonders of God to me through this lender GOD fearing MR TONY HARTON and I would advise anyone in genuine and serious need of loan to contact this God-fearing man on financialhome34@outlook.com through .. and I want you all to pray for this man for me
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  5. Wonderfully said! It's important to plan ahead and set guidelines and expectations... As a teacher, these worked for me with my students as well. At the request of some of my parents, I wrote and illustrated a book about social skills. It's complete with activities to help reiterate the skills introduced. It's on Amazon and createspace.com and the title is Private Peter's Social Skills. While I didn't use board maker, I did illustrate for visual learners. I have worked in self-contained units for 10 years, that has given me insight. I totally agree with you on inclusion and being able to let them share in activities around this time of year, especially!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderfully said! It's important to plan ahead and set guidelines and expectations... As a teacher, these worked for me with my students as well. At the request of some of my parents, I wrote and illustrated a book about social skills. It's complete with activities to help reiterate the skills introduced. It's on Amazon and createspace.com and the title is Private Peter's Social Skills. While I didn't use board maker, I did illustrate for visual learners. I have worked in self-contained units for 10 years, that has given me insight. I totally agree with you on inclusion and being able to let them share in activities around this time of year, especially!

    ReplyDelete
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