For adults, the idea of Valentine’s Day conjures images of romance, affection, and love. But for a child with autism, Valentine’s Day can be a much different experience. Many parents become concerned around holidays because they’re worried about how their autistic child will react to the noise, confusion, and change in routine, especially if they will be celebrating the holiday in their preschool or kindergarten class.
However, it’s very possible for a child with autism in Denver to have a safe, fun Valentine’s Day. With a little bit of preparation, guidance, and encouragement, you can help your child have a positive Valentine’s Day experience. Here are some tips to help you head in the right direction.
As your child’s primary caregiver, it’s your responsibility to guide them through different situations in life. The best way to support your child is by educating yourself on their condition. A Parent’s Guide to Autism from Autism Speaks is a great resource for parents. Connecting with your child’s therapist can also help you find ways to support them.
Treat it as a learning opportunity.
Instead of getting caught up in worries about how your child will cope with the confusion, try instead to focus on ways to make the holiday a positive experience. Valentine’s Day can be a great time to teach your child about social relatedness and help them have positive interactions with their classmates and family members. For example, if your child is old enough to understand, you may want to explain the purpose of Valentine’s Day and how it’s important to show people you love that you care about them.
Prepare your child for a change in routine.
A change in routine can be upsetting for an autistic person of a young age. Help your child cope with the change in activities at their school or daycare by discussing it with them in advance. You can even ask their teacher or caregiver for a copy of the schedule for that day. Other ways to help them prepare could be role-playing or reading a book about Valentine’s Day.
By following these tips, you can help your child successfully prepare for the upcoming holiday and have an enjoyable experience.
Get More Information
For more information on ways to support your child with autism, contact our office. We would be more than happy to assist you or help you find a good time for an appointment to speak to a therapist.