top of page

Reassuring Children with Supportive Needs During the Busy Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. It's a time when families come together to create lasting memories and share in the spirit of giving. However, for families with children who have supportive needs, the holiday season can bring unique challenges and stressors. With the multitude of social activities, sensory overload, and changes in routine, it's important to be proactive in ensuring that children with supportive needs have a positive and enjoyable experience. In this blog post, we'll explore practical ways to assist and help children with supportive needs navigate the upcoming busy holiday season.

Some simple ways you can help everyone ease into the holiday season are:

Plan Ahead

One of the most important steps in helping children with supportive needs during the holidays is careful planning. Start by creating a schedule or visual calendar that outlines the upcoming events and activities. Share this calendar with your child to prepare them for what's to come. This predictability can help ease anxiety and reduce uncertainty. Google calendar works great for organizing and color coding everyones schedules and activities.


Maintain Routine

Children with supportive needs often thrive on routine and consistency. While it's natural for routines to be disrupted during the holidays, try to maintain a semblance of a regular schedule. Ensure that mealtimes and sleep patterns remain as consistent as possible to provide stability and comfort for your child. Cozi and Trello are two great apps for time management and keeping up routines.

Sensory Considerations

Many holiday gatherings and events can be overwhelming in terms of sensory input. Be mindful of your child's sensitivities and prepare accordingly. Bring noise-canceling headphones or sunglasses if necessary, and inform hosts about your child's sensory needs. Create a sensory-friendly space where your child can take breaks if needed. Here are some great sensory friendly holiday activities.

fitting child with noise cancelling headphones

Communication is Key

Effective communication is essential. Talk to your child about the upcoming events, explain what to expect, and discuss any potential challenges. Encourage them to express their feelings and needs. It's also important to communicate with family and friends about your child's unique requirements, so they can provide support and understanding. For some tips on how to best communicate with your child, please take a look at this resource from the National Council for Special Education.

Choose Inclusive Activities

Look for inclusive and sensory-friendly activities that your child can enjoy. Many communities offer adaptive events, such as sensory-friendly Santa visits or quiet holiday lights displays. These can be a wonderful way for your child to participate in the festivities in a comfortable and supportive environment. School is one environment that your children will be in often that it is easy to become overwhelmed. Consider sharing some of these inclusive ideas with your child's teachers and therapists.

colorful winter village

Set Realistic Expectations

It's crucial to set realistic expectations for both yourself and your child. Understand that not every holiday event will go perfectly, and that's okay. Focus on the joy of spending quality time together rather than striving for perfection. shares some wonderful pointers on how to keep expectations in check for both you and your children.

Self-Care for Caregivers

Taking care of yourself is equally important. The holiday season can be stressful for parents and caregivers, so make sure to carve out time for self-care and rest. You'll be better equipped to support your child if you are well-rested and stress-free. Some ideas for self care during the holidays can be found here.

woman getting oil massage

Seek Professional Guidance

If you're facing significant challenges, don't hesitate to reach out to professionals who specialize in supportive needs. They can offer guidance, resources, and coping strategies that are tailored to your child's specific needs. National Association of Mental Illness offers an extensive guide to help you find the type of help you need. this directory covers basically every topic and has literature, telephone, and in person help for a variety of topics and populations.

The holiday season should be a time of joy and inclusivity for all. By planning ahead, maintaining routines, considering sensory needs, and fostering open communication, you can help children with supportive needs enjoy a positive and memorable holiday season. Remember that the most important thing is the love and support you provide, and that will create lasting, cherished holiday memories for your family.

***Disclaimer: The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained herein. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. It is important to note that laws, regulations, and circumstances may have changed since that time. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you independently verify and validate any information I provide before making decisions or taking actions based upon it. I am not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor for any loss, injury, or damage arising from the use of the information provided. It is always recommended to consult with relevant professionals or experts in specific fields for tailored advice and guidance. Please be aware that interactions and communications on this platform do not establish a professional-client relationship. The responsibility for evaluating and validating the information provided rests solely with the individual readers. By using this platform, you agree to hold me harmless from any liability or claim in connection with the use of the information provided. Always seek professional advice and consult with appropriate authorities or experts regarding specific legal, financial, medical, or any other professional matters. Thank you for understanding.***

**Disclaimer: Mama, It Takes a Village has not been a client of any of the listed services or products mentioned in this blog post, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Mama, It Takes a Village does not endorse or guarantee the quality or effectiveness of any of the mentioned establishments or their services. The information provided is based on publicly available information and recommendations. Individuals are advised to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment when selecting and utilizing the services mentioned. Mama, It Takes a Village is not responsible for any issues or experiences that may arise from engaging with the mentioned services or products. Thank you for understanding.**


bottom of page