Thanksgiving is approaching, and it is a big deal for most families in the US. Often times your autistic family member may not be very comfortable with the excitement around him or her. Some may become too excited, and so difficult to control. Here are some tips to help you through the Turkey Day with as much fun as intended:
- A comfortable dress: There is no need for everyone to dress extravagantly, specially if your autistic relation doesn’t like it. Let him or her dress the way they want.
- Low/appropriate volumes: Television and music should be played in an appropriate volume, and general conversation should be carried out as normal. Another option is to have the autistic person use noise reducing headphones; these prevent overstimulation.
- A retiring room: Make sure you have a room dedicated to retreat and relaxation. Your autistic family member should be familiar with and like this place.
- Acknowledgement: Appreciate the effort these people are making to adjust and behave properly. Positive feedback from time to time is really helpful to encourage autistic people to behave in a certain manner.
- Simplicity and familiarity: Consider minimizing décor. There is already enough change coming everyone’s way. It may be okay for others but not for people with autism.
- Food portions: From display to actually sitting down to eat, portioning down the food into small quantities can calm down an overenthusiastic eater. Moreover, someone who is used to providing support should sit next to the autistic person to keep a check on food intake, and reinforce table manners. Serving platters are discouraged, may be everyone can plate their food before sitting down to eat, but it is understandable if that is not the case. Make sure the platters have covers, which can be put on them when someone is done plating food.