Around this time of the year, we gather with loved ones whether that be family, or friends. We at the FASD Centre believe in connection with others, whether that is with our clients, our staff, or agencies we regularly work with. Connecting with people we care about, or people we work with on a professional basis, can mean doing a small act of kindness, reaching out to check in, and/or sending that holiday greeting. Here are a few tips that might make for a more enjoyable holidays season:
☀When shopping with someone who has sensory concerns try to avoid large, noisy, crowded stores. Shop online or choose days, times and locations that will be less busy.
☀When it comes to gift giving, consider the following for those who have difficulties with attention and/or socializing:
*Recognize the amount of time gift-opening could take and allow opportunity to open packaging, assemble items, and explore how they are used.
*Be aware of the potential for overwhelm and provide a break to get up and stretch, grab and coffee or snack, or use the washroom.
*Discuss the idea of graciously receiving gifts in language that the individual uses and understands. Respond tactfully to honest reactions to ‘undesirable’ gifts should
they happen, recognizing the thoughtfulness and generosity of the giver.
☀Holiday parties often involve a lot of social interaction and sensory stimuli that can be challenging to navigate for individuals with FASD and their families. Speak in advance about:
*The number of people that will be there and what kind of activities might be happening.
*How personal space can creatively be considered – high-fives, blowing kisses, fist bumps, waving goodbye, handshakes etc…what to do if loud music or bright lights become overwhelming.
Happy Holiday Season and Best Wishes! The FASD Centre Coaches