1. Have a plan and add as much structure as you can.
At school, your child will be used to routine and structure in the day. When it’s holiday time, all that ‘free time’ can feel too much to handle.
Planning an activity each day adds structure to the holidays. It doesn’t always have to be going
out on day trips. Staying in to do painting/play games/watch a film are all structured activities. This will help your child to feel like things are more predictable and reduce the anxiety of not knowing what is happening.
2. Use a visual aid to show your child what is happening each day.
It is always a good idea to prepare your child in advance for holiday periods. Creating a visual calendar/planner helps your child see what will be happening on each day.
Using a Social story™ can help explain to your child about the school holidays and what to expect.
3. Give your child choices.
Too much choice can be overwhelming for a child with autism. But offering your child limited options or choices for things like what they want to drink/eat/watch on TV/where to go for the day can help them feel they have more control.
Try offering two or more choices for them to pick from.
You could display these options as symbols, on a choice board, or show them written down. Although these options/choices will ultimately be things you decide, by giving your child the option of which one to pick, you’ll give them a sense of control and predictability.