With 1 in 110 children in the US now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it’s become more likely that you know a child — a relative’s, a friend’s, a neighbor’s, your own — or someone who’s autistic or who has Asperger’s. Children and adults on the spectrum can have significant challenges in social interactions and in communicating (some, like my teenage son Charlie, may be minimally verbal or not be able to speak at all), as well as cognitive difficulties due to neurological issues.
Order and routine are not simply important but essential for many autistic individuals who may become intensely agitated and even feel physical pain when that order is disrupted. Holidays — when schools are closed and many take vacation — are, therefore, almost by definition likely to be challenging. What follows is a selection of some things about holidays that can be difficult (especially from a sensory perspective) for those on the autism spectrum, based on our experiences navigating 14 years of holidays with Charlie.
Photo by uberculture
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