The holidays are for fun and family, and we should keep in mind that these holidays can be especially important for children.
It’s not something that ever really crosses our radar, but the holidays aren’t automatically going to be a great time for every child. Children with special needs, in particular, may find the holidays a stressful event due to the change in routine they are accustomed to. The sights, sounds, and crowds of people can also induce stress and anxiety in children who aren’t able contextualise all of the new events and activities.
We have to remember that the mood surrounding the holidays is something we make and not something we just participate in. This means that we have to take special consideration for children with special needs to ensure we’re making it a time they can also be a part of.
As the holidays roll around, you can try to pre-empt your children in advance of the holiday. Create lists and show children in advance the fun things that are coming next week and subsequent weeks. Make the planning of these holiday activities an event that the children are a part of. There are various ways you can do this but having the child make a physical activity list with you will help pre-empt the events for them. Give them tasks in preparation of each event. The list can then be posted up somewhere accessible and be referenced every day in preparation.
In this calendar of events, children will know when these events and activities come around, and won’t be something that is sudden and disruptive, but expected. This will allow the child to enjoy the activity rather than be stressed about it.
If you are planning on decorating a tree, plan it with the child in advance, and have all the materials ready. Remember that holiday activities, although fun, can also be stressful and trigger arguments, so the better you plan, the more relaxed and ready you can be to carry out your decoration.
If you plan to have people over, talk to the child about this so they know who is coming and what to expect on certain days.
As the calendar of events come around, mark them off with your child so you both know what to expect. In this way, you can create a routine that makes the chaos of the holidays more predictable and manageable for your child.
In this way, you can create a routine that makes the chaos of the holidays more predictable and manageable for your child.
Join us at College of Allied Educators to see how you can develop an understanding of the different types of exceptional children, their needs, and the different special needs programmes and specialties that are available to you, for them.
CAE’s 15-months Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education (PGDISE) is a part-time programme is designed specifically to train potential candidates to be effective educators to children with special needs. At a graduate level, the Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education focuses on developing and enhancing candidates’ experiential knowledge and skills professionally through a holistic approach.
CAE’s 12-months Advanced Diploma in Special Education course trains educators and parents in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of these needs and the basic principles and practices of effective teaching and learning. The programme is highly practice-oriented to ensure that what you learn in class can be applied to children with special needs under your charge.
CAE’s Diploma in Learning Disorders Management & Child Psychology programme is designed specifically to train potential teachers, parents and caregivers to identify, detect and support children with special needs, such as Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyspraxia, and Dyslexia.
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