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Some tips to make this holiday season fun for your disabled child

December 27, 2018

It is that time of the year when the weather is perfect and everyone is gearing up for the holiday season. December is here! This month is special for many reasons. People across the world are celebrating Christmas and are all set to welcome the New Year as well. We all will have guests, family and friends visiting us from different parts of the world. So indeed, this season is special.

During this season, children are expected to be at their best behaviour. When it comes to a disabled child, parents have to prepare them a wee bit more to gear up for the season.

If we are going for a vacation, we opt for a place where my daughter would enjoy. Since it is Christmas season we keep a Christmas tree at home. My daughter helps me to decorate the tree. But I make sure that she does it on her own will without my persuasion. Most of the children loves watching us do things and then repeating it. Also, involve them in all the activities at home. Right from cleaning the house to baking a Christmas cake, they must be an active part of the work so that they enjoy things thoroughly- Reena Verma, Mother of child with Down syndrome

Here are a few tips that can help your disabled child to celebrate the season with joy

  • Keep it simple- Disabled children love to have their things done simple and neat. The lesser the complications, more fun it is. So from planning a vacation to having a house party, parents must make sure that the child is comfortable throughout the time. For instance, a child with autism will not be too good with social skills. They would rather choose not to interact with an unknown person. Give them all their space and let them feel comfortable.
  • Simple presents are great- Who doesn't love presents during this holiday season? In western countries, giving away presents is a tradition. It is slowly catching up in India too. Let your little one have the pleasure of opening a new present along with their siblings and parents. Indeed, it is a great feeling. But when you gift your child a present, make sure that it is a simple one that is wrapped in an easy to remove gift wrapper. Not all children would appreciate untying ribbons and paper covers. Let it be hassle free for your child.
  • Prepare family and friends- So this year, you might have a few new guests at home whom your child is not used to seeing. Sometimes, a guest might also get intimidated by the way your child behaves. So give them a heads up about what your child prefers. For instance, if your child doesn't like being hugged, politely tell your guests that they prefer shaking hands over a hug. All these can make a huge difference to the ambience and mood of your home with guests around.
  • Space matters- Sometimes, you might be invited over for a lunch or dinner by a family member or friends. So when you go, make sure that your child is comfortable in their zones. It can even be a small room or a corner space in the living space. Let them find their space and be comfortable there.

"My daughter loves it when we have guests over for holidays. So she helps by serving them food and enquiring about their well-being. I guess we have trained her accordingly. But we let her do things on her own and learn it by herself", says Satish Durat, parent of child with Down syndrome.

Following these few tips are only going to make holidays better and brighter for your disabled child.

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