Tag Archives: helpful tips

HOLIDAY TIP | Have a Back-up Plan


Escape-PlanThe holiday season abounds with new sounds, unfamiliar faces and different schedules and if you don’t yet have a plan in place for your child, there’s still time.

When it all becomes too much—too many people, too much noise, too much that’s unknown—having a ‘plan of escape’ to a place to self-regulate is always wise. With one or two back-up plans, at least you have options. Practice a non-verbal hand signal your kid can give you to show you he needs to leave, instead of shouting at the top of his lungs, “It’s time for everyone to go home now! We’re done!”

Often, just knowing that it’s okay to escape to a quiet place is enough.

Holiday Tip #9 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 4 days to Christmas and I’ve been good all year, my wish list is
detailed and long, I’ve made it very clear!
Dec. 21            Day 9   Unexpected Gifts.
Practice polite acceptance of giftsthose asked for and not, those already owned, despised or thought to be silly. Every giftregardless—deserves a heartfelt thank you. The giver took his time and money to pick out, purchase, wrap and deliver a present. Those gestures deserve appreciation. Period. 
One message to the giver: Thank you—and any praises, compliments, gee golly goshes. One message to mom or dad in private: Any criticisms
or complaints. 
Image   Image

Holiday Tip #6 for Parents of Children with Autism


It’s 8 days to Christmas and music abounds, be sure to have a plan for
managing new sounds.
Dec. 18            Day 8   Escape Plan in Place
When it all becomes too much—too much noise, too many people, too much that’s unfamiliar—having a plan of escape to a place to self-regulate is always wise. With a Plan A and Plan B,
at least you have options. Practice a non-verbal hand signal your kid can give you to show you he needs to leave, instead of one child who shouted at the top of his lungs during his parents’ open house/New Year’s party, “It’s time for everyone to go home now! We’re done!”


Sit down with your child and together devise a secret hand signal that you can use to communicate in public. Practice it frequently. Having this non-verbal signal allows your child to tell you that he has to use the bathroom, or he wants to leave or he’s had enough–in an inobtrusive way.

Holiday Tip #5 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 8 Days to Christmas and there is such a clatter, but follow my next tip and it really won’t matter.
Dec. 17            Day 8   Sense of Control
During this hustling, bustling time of year, it’s way too easy
for our days to spin out of control. Imagine how our kids feel
when routines are disrupted, guests come and go, furniture is
rearranged to make room for Christmas trees and more. One
year I gave my son a bunch of decorations of his own—lights,
a personalized stocking, Santas, even his own mini tree. He
can decorate his room however he likes. And he looks forward
to opening “his” box each year. This sense of control works
wonders! It’s change on his own terms. If he’s overwhelmed by
a situation, his room is a safe haven for him.
Make a Joyful Noise!



Pick Your Battles

For some reason, when my son cooks fish or chicken fingers, he uses the potholder to flip them. I don’t know why he’s averse to using utensils. I tried and tried various ways to remind him and change him, but it didn’t work. It’s very frustrating to open the potholder drawer and find them covered with crumbs. After months and months of trying and failing to change his behavior, last week I gave up the fight. From now on, I told him, he has to clean off the potholder before returning it to the drawer. When I see him clean it, he’ll get bonus points toward rewards.

Results? No more crummy potholders! I’ve actually watched him take the time to walk to the sink to brush off the crumbs before returning the potholder to the drawer. Aha!

Moral to this lesson:  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Also, flexibility on mom’s part is always a good thing.


It’s important to know when to be flexible. That goes for us as well as for our kids.