Sensory Thanksgiving Tips 

Thanksgiving can be a difficult and challenging time for children who have Sensory Processing Disorder. 

Thanksgiving dinners, gatherings and events can be too overwhelming for a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, and they can cause your child to have a meltdown. 

Here are some tips and ideas you can try with your child to help you with Thanksgiving. These tips and ideas could make it easier for you and your child. 

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful you are here. 

1. Practice manners before the holidays come.

2. Be prepared ahead of schedule.

3. Use a picture schedule allowing your child to know when and count down the days. 

(Visual schedule

4. Schedule sensory breaks during dinner and family events.

5. Have a quiet and private space that is just for sensory breaks away from the crowds.

6. Bring a weighted blanket. (Weighted blanket

7. Ear defenders for noise can make a huge difference for a child with SPD during the holidays.  (earmuffs)

8. Reading social stories for expectations can be helpful for a child to understand what to expect.

9. Have your child dress in comfortable clothes, something they like to wear. 

10. Talk with your family so they understand about noise, food challenges and how your child can get overstimulated.

11. Bring a sensory kit for your child's quiet space. (Fidgets or quiet activities such as Lego or IPad)

12. Encourage your child to try more foods. Put smaller portions on your child's plate so they are not overwhelmed.

13. Praise all positive behaviors during the holidays.

14. Bring snack that your child enjoys if they choose to not have dinner.

15. When it's time to go.... go.

16. Don't force them to push their own limit because of the family or friends.

17. Know that it is ok to say no to large family events and have a private family dinner of your own.

18. Do what works for you, your child and family. Have fun! Enjoy yourselves!


DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists give you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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