How can we possibly forget our Christmas memories of yesteryears? The variety of festive and classic music which heightened the Christmas feel. The yuletide ornaments and holiday wreaths that were gorgeously peppered everywhere. That chilly morning when we eagerly unwrapped the presents that screamed reds and greens, placed underneath the giant Christmas tree. How we indulged with the cool morning breeze and delighted ourselves with the quality time we’ve spent with our loved ones. Indeed, the holiday season is both powerful and magical- powerful being that it has the capability of transporting us back to those times, leaving us breathlessly wistful; and magical, as it can easily transform our gloomy moments into days of cheer and hope. These Christmas flashbacks are deeply embedded onto our beings, and we cannot stop the enchantment of this season in touching our lives again and again.
Aside from the dazzling and dancing lights, soothing music and the yuletide vibe, the Christmas season is mainly highlighted by two things – children and gift-giving. For kids, this is their moment; the special time of the year where the anticipation for Santa Claus and his flying reindeers pulling the sleigh across the sky grows. It’s also the time for grownups to return the favor – maintaining the tradition and preserving the Christmas spirit. Little do we know that by doing so, we are also enriched and blessed.
Christmas is a very essential milestone for children with autism, but it can also be a very stressful day for them. A change in their usual chore and the flurry of the Christmas activities may cause a meltdown. For parents of children with autism, this can be very frustrating, but any event planning and celebration is without a doubt stressful, so don’t let these factors get in your way or spoil your child’s yuletide joy. Involving them in the activities will surely lessen their anxiety as they get familiar with the task, allowing a change in their routine to at least become bearable for them to adjust on. Their engagement in the Christmas celebration increases their happiness for sure, and it is also an opportune time for them to express themselves and to discover more things that they are capable of doing.
With a broad spectrum of gift choices, gift-giving is evidently a demanding part of this season, and the same description goes when finding a gift for children with autism. To address the need for a list of highly-suggested gifts and ideas for traveling with kids with autism, we have compiled these 10 wonderful gift ideas that will definitely kick their Christmas spirits up a notch.
1. Art materials and Christmas decorations
Getting involved in Christmas decorating does not only encourage creativity, but promotes non-verbal expression as well. It also lessens the anxiety from the entire bustle brought about by the season.
2. Educational DVDs
Children are like sponges and they soak in knowledge and information, even while being seated in front of the television. Educational DVDs are suggested for kids more than 2 years of age. By learning new words, identifying colors and listening to the soothing music, the kids’ learning then is being stimulated.
3. Board Games
Board games do not only encourage family and peer bonding, but also develops visual perception, and eye-hand coordination. It helps in improving the child’s focus, and being able to solve one gives a sense of accomplishment.
4. Video Games
When controlled and balanced, educational video games, ideally those that involve several players, are of great help in enhancing a child’s social skills, spatial navigation, memory and perception, and other cognitive aspects. It is also known to improve their problem-solving skills.
Aside from the fact that Lego boosts the kids’ fine motor skills, it also increases their cognition, math skills, and their ability to think and comprehend in three dimensions.
Trampolines improve cardiovascular health, increase energy, tone the muscles and expands mental alertness – all of these while having a good time jumping!
Whether you’re planning to give a music CD or DVD, or a musical instrument, it’s a guarantee that music will be very beneficial for the kids’ mental power, patience and confidence.
If played for 30 to 60 minutes per day and depending on the app, playing an iPad fosters a child’s inventiveness and social skills. They could mimic the entertaining tasks played on their iPads. For instance, if they watch a guide in the proper way of brushing the teeth or washing the face, they may translate what they have learned into real life.
Depending on the kids’ developmental aptitude, books can promote learning in the areas of literacy, numeracy, socialization, and in so many ways! Books with huge images, vibrant colors, and sounds make learning more fun, and reading to them encourages communication and establishes bond.
10. A Travel Package
Image Source: ClubMates Travel
Traveling strengthens relationships, and the experience, as well as the exploration itself reinforce the child’s learning, while boosting their morale. If you’re arranging a trip as a gift, asking the child’s parents about his interests may help you in deciding the perfect itinerary. Make sure to book with a tour operator whose expert in arranging supported holidays. A trip to a beach, theme park, or a cruising package, may either last for a day or a week, but the benefits that the child would obtain from it are boundless.
The said ideas aid in helping children with autism improve their functional skills that are essential in utilizing their abilities, while pursuing their passions. Whatever gift you have chosen, always bear in mind to take the autistic child’s developmental ability, rather than his age, for them to fully enjoy it. Picking the type that’s actually created for kids with autism or talking to a specialist to get an idea on the best one to give is also a great idea.
The Christmas memories that you have created leave a special imprint on the children’s hearts that cannot be taken away by anyone, or by any ordeal that they are to face throughout their lives. Christmas is indeed a time for children, but if there’s a soft spot within you for generosity, a vivid faith for the future, and an inner child in you, then this day is also definitely for you! Have a bountiful, Merry Christmas from ClubMates Travel!