Holiday Sensory Overload

December 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm 3 comments

Right about now, my kids are on total sensory overload!!

Have you noticed increased stimulatory behavior?  Increased “scripting?”  Increased need for jumping, crashing, deep pressure activities?  This is a normal response to the overload of sensations that come from the holiday season.  Let’s dissect the Christmas tree:

1) It’s new to have a tree inside of your home vs. outside.

2) The smell of a real tree or the materials of an artificial tree….yes, the fake tree has a smell (ask your child with autism!)

3) The lights coming from the tree and bright ornaments cause the brain to process more visual input.

Then there’s the music, Santa in his bright red suit, the excitement of presents, the change in routine in school to special programs, concerts, and parties…..

Please consider that your child may need extra time to process and to complete homework and activities of daily living.  Be patient and try to maintain structure as much as you can.  My son’s need for a visual schedule with rewards is strong every year at Christmas.  Our kids with sensory processing difficulty may not wear the fancy clothing, ties, or sweaters that we’d like for them to….that’s OK!  Let them wear that seamless shirt, sweatpants, or comfy clothing if they want.  Make a nice handout for your family about sensory integration issues if you need to and kindly give it out as needed.  Your child will thank you for understanding and giving them a little extra patience this time of year!!

Please let us know what your child’s struggling with this holiday.  We can help each other out with ideas and suggestions!!


Entry filed under: Aspergers, autism, Occupational Therapy, parents, Sensory Integration. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Holiday Sensory Overload Eosinophilic Night Before Christmas

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Darlene, COTA/L  |  December 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

    So great and so simple to pass on to my parents….thank you and Happy Holidays!

  • 2. Autistics Aware  |  December 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

    On our website, you can find a Shutdown chart, which many have found to be helpful. When it’s hard to explain, it’s easier to trust the non-verbal communication tools. Happy Holidays!


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