This is the second post in our series “Holiday Help”. Here are some ideas to consider for your next family gathering.

  • If your child is sensitive to noise, arrive early so the volume level rises slowly over time.
  • Have your child complete sensory diet activities before being asked to sit for a long period at the table. Ask your therapist for ideas.
  • Allow your child to take a movement break during the meal. Or, allow your sensory sensitive child to move to a quiet place in the house to take a break from the stimulation at the dinner table. Taking a break is always better than a meltdown at the table. If you are going to be at a relative’s house, plan ahead and ask the host where your child can go as a retreat.
  • Bring a length of Theraband to loop around the legs of your child’s chair at the dinner table to provide them with an appropriate way of gaining sensory input without kicking the table (or a cousin).
  • Review behavioral expectations with your child for several days before the family gathering. Use clip art pictures to reinforce the concepts.
  • If you are sleeping over at a relative’s house, you may consider bringing a set of your child’s sheets. Children who have tactile sensitivities may find it difficult to tolerate the novel sensation of different pillows, sheets, or blankets.

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