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Some tips to prepare children with autism for Diwali

With Diwali round the corner, everyone is gearing up to celebrate the occasion. But when you have a child with autism, it is important to follow certain tips to ensure that they too can enjoy the festival without any hassles.

Holiday season is round the corner. Diwali is just a few days ahead and kids across India are preparing to start their short vacations. But this is also a time when families, mainly parents, have to be watchful and vigilant, especially when you have a child with autism. Diwali is that time of the year when fire crackers are constantly burst throughout the day. This can cause a lot of issues for a child with autism. There are many things that a parent must prepare their child for.

Zeba Hashmi who has an 11-year-old son with autism says that Diwali can be an enjoyable affair if one keeps certain things in mind.

A festive season like Diwali is when you have to be very organised and disciplined if you have a child with autism. It is important to follow the same routine that you do round the year except for a few changes that need to be made for celebrations. Prepare your child beforehand on what they can expect. If they have sensory issues, use noise cancellation earphones for them. It is always better to avoid bringing sweets to home. If you have to then get organic sweets because there are lot of options available in the market. Zeba Hashmi, Parent

Here are some tips to prepare your children with autism for Diwali

  • Plan and prepare - During holidays, family tours are inevitable. It is also a time when one might have guests over at home. For a child with autism, a shift in their regular routine does not go very well. Hence, it is important to let your child know what you are planning for the next few days.
  • Decorate your home in stages - A lot of flowers and lighted diyas are used in every household but this might not go down well with children who have sensory issues. So decorate your home in stages and make your child a part of this.
  • Be alert to your child's needs - Every child has its own needs so it is important to be sensitive to what your child feels bothered by. If there is too much noise around, shift them to a quieter area. Stay with your child and let him/her know that you are available when they need you.
  • Mind the diet - No festival is complete without yummy food in the tummy. Diwali is a season when there is a lot of sweets and fried foods around all the time. Too much of junk food, sweet and fried items are definitely not good for the child. So keep a watch on what they eat.

"My son had a lot of sensory issues and he just couldn't stand noise of bursting crackers", recalls Pratibha Bhatnagar, who has a 32-year-old son with autism. "We hardly used to celebrate Diwali due to this. But soon I realised that is not the solution. So I started using methods through which he could learn to handle sound. It did work and now he is the first one to break crackers in our home. It is always important to overcome fears".

Also Read: Some tips to make your home autism friendly this holiday season

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