Tips to Reduce Sensory Overload this Holiday Season

Sensory OverloadThe holiday season can be a stressful time. If you are a parent of a child with special needs, those issues can intensify over this time of year. The holiday twinkle lights, carolers, the aroma of a large home-cooked meal — can be an overwhelming experience for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Here are a few tips on how to prep for the holidays with children who have sensory needs.

  1. Plan. Plan. Plan. Plan as much as possible. When possible, do a trial run to practice group situations and settings and introduce the smells of new foods in your home.
  2. Find a Quiet Room While Out and About.  If you know you are going to be at a friend or family members house for a holiday party or while overnight, ask that person or hostess ahead of time if there is a room that your child could use as a quiet room.
  3. Schedule morning activities. Generally, kids do better in the morning than in the late afternoon or evening when they are tired. Schedule events and gatherings earlier in the day rather than late in the day.

As we are swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we frequently take for granted things that those with sensory processing needs find challenging. We hope you are able to find some peace and quiet this holiday season.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.