Tips For A More Successful Sensory Christmas!  





1. Keep a routine as much as possible. Using visual schedules can be helpful so that your child knows what is happening throughout their day and week. 


2. Enjoy short and simple sensory activities.


3. It's okay to have only close family over for Christmas or no company at all. 


4. If you do go out for Christmas, explain your child's sensory challenges to everyone ahead of time.


5. Have a quiet room or space for your child to be alone when they get overwhelmed.


Tips For A More Successful Sensory Christmas reindeer with christmas lights



6. Take your child's sensory tools to gatherings or events. 


7. It's okay to leave events and gatherings early. Watch for your child's signals to see how they are doing. 


8. Shopping when you have Sensory Processing Disorder can be unbearable and overwhelming. Try to shop without your child if possible or shop in smaller shops with less people.


9. Try to make Christmas Day last for several days or a week. You can start opening presents at the beginning of the month. It is less overwhelming for children to gradually open their gifts. 


10. Most areas have a sensory Santa, it's better to schedule a time as a visit to Santa can be too overwhelming for children with Sensory Processing Disorder.


11. If you are going out to dinner, bring your child's choice of foods because most will not eat what is being served for Christmas dinner.


12. Read social stories to prepare your child for Christmas events and gatherings. 


13. When you notice your child is coping well, praise them as much as possible.


14. Stick to your child's sensory diet as much as possible during the holidays to keep them regulated. 


15. Allow time for scheduled sensory breaks and exercise.


16. Don't forget your child's noise cancelling headphones.


17. Bring an iPad or tablet if your child uses one. This may be helpful to keep them busy and they could listen to earphones to avoid most noise.


18. Lower expectations as most children with Sensory Processing Disorder will have meltdowns during holiday events and dinners as they get overwhelmed.


19. Try to include your child with decorating the tree and home decorations but remember flashing lights or musical decorations can cause your child to have sensory overload. 


20. Keep Christmas decorations on the walls and in doorways limited and simple. Gradually add them to your home as decorations and changes can be overwhelming to a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder. 


21. If your child doesn't want to open gifts in front of others, try to respect that.


22. I know as a parent that you want your child to enjoy Christmas events but how everyone else enjoys it will be different from how your child enjoys it.


23. Before attending events, make a signal or sign that your child can use to let you know when it's too much for them.


24. Don't be afraid to say no to having visitors over. If you do have visitors, it's okay to have a time limit.


25. Don't force the Christmas on your child that you want to have. Be understanding of their sensory needs. 


26. Allow time for your child to run, jump, spin or swing as much as they need too during the holidays.


27. Smells at Christmas can be strong; sounds can be too loud, and lights can be too bright.


28. Less can be best. Too much of anything can be overwhelming for a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder, and they will have meltdowns. 


29. Enjoy yourself! Have a glass of wine and enjoy a Christmas that works for your family. It doesn't need to work for everyone else. 


If you are having a child over for Christmas dinner that has Sensory Processing Disorder or plan to attend an event with a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder.... PLEASE be understanding.







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 gives 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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