Social and Sensory holiday tips for parents

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The holiday period is generally something we think of as a positive time of year with all the celebrations, decorations, presents and delicious food. However, for some of the people we support (young and old) the holiday period can be a social and sensory nightmare!

Holidays and gatherings can be overwhelming and tiring, even for people who love attending them. So it is really important to consider what you/ your child need to be comfortable and advocate for that. Consider what challenges might come up and how to best support your child to cope at this time.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of challenges that might arise and how to support or advocate for your child. Hopefully, these tips will help you to consider some small changes that might make a big difference!

Eating unfamiliar food if you have a picky eater

A lot of our end-of-year celebrations centre on food and sharing meals with family and friends. For a lot of our children meal times are hard! They might be hard because making healthy choices is challenging, or they might be hard because of feeding or eating disorders.

We need to consider for children the social and sensory environments can impact their eating. If they are feeling unsafe, eating will be incredibly hard.

Considering the sensory environment

Managing all the social demands


The holiday period is an exciting, but potentially overwhelming and stressful time of year. Being proactive by knowing what the potential challenges might be and developing a plan is key. Managing the social and sensory aspects, including the expectations of others can be challenging both for you and your child. Remember to be kind to both your child and yourself and plan for a holiday period that matches your and your family’s needs.

To learn more about our amazing staff visit Our Expertise.

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