The SENDIAS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Service has provided some helpful tips to guide families through Christmas.
For families with a child or young person with additional needs, the festive period can be challenging.
Heightened excitement, changes to routine and the possibility of sensory overload can get overwhelming for people with additional needs.
The SENDIAS team have put together 3 tips for making the season easier for those with additional needs.
Preparation - Planning ahead can help to make things run more smoothly. Talk about Christmas with your child early and find out what they are looking forward to and what worries they might have. You could show them photos of the previous year’s Christmas.
Sensory - Plan around any sensory issues that could cause your child distress. If it is likely to be noisy consider using ear defenders or ensure there is a quiet space for your child to retreat to if it gets too much.
Presents - Consider how best to wrap (or not) your child’s presents. If wrapping paper could cause a sensory issue perhaps a gift bag may be the best solution? If the surprise of wrapped presents could be too much for them maybe a clear wrapping so that the child can still take part in unwrapping the gift but doesn’t have the anxiety of worrying about what’s inside?
Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member with responsibility for children and families at Worcestershire County Council said, “The SENDIAS service is a fantastic support for families and young people. The advice and support they offer year round is incredibly valuable, but we know that Christmas can be a particularly stressful period for us all.
“These tips can help lessen that stress for some young people who may experience more intense anxiety through the festive season.”
The SENDIAS Worcestershire and Herefordshire Service is there to support families with children and young people between the ages of 0 – 25 on matters relating to SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
The service offers free, impartial and confidential information, advice and support covering both Herefordshire and Worcestershire, some of this help comes through the aid of young person advisors that can help support children and young people with additional needs directly.
For more information on how to support someone with additional needs through the festive season, visit the SENDIASS Worcestershire and Herefordshire website Coping with Christmas - SENDIASS Worcestershire and Herefordshire.