With the Holidays Season upon us, there are many opportunity for family gatherings. Most of which are held indoors, which can get loud, chaotic and overwhelming. It’s those type of environments that a child with sensory issues can become easily agitated. Last year, we choose to opt out of our family’s gathering due to the risk of meltdown and the extra amount of stress it might add. We have decided that this year, now that we are better equipped to handle his meltdowns and behavior challenges, we are going to attempt to attend the gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have decided that I need to pack my “Survival Kit” to take with me to help prevent/lessen the chance of a meltdown. As always, we will have an exit plan and know that if we have to leave early, that it is 100% okay. Even if one person gets bent out of shape, they will get over it!
My Family Gathering Survival Kit
1. Electronic Games- For us it’s the iPad. He has endless games, and movies on that thing and it is his safe haven when he doesn’t want to be social. Can’t forget the charger and an extension cord.
2. Portable Dvd Player and Favorite Dvd’s-In case there is lack of wifi signal and Netflix doesn’t work.
3. Favorite Tableware-Most kids like Monkey, are very particular about things. Sometimes they will refuse to eat or throw a fit, if it is not served on their favorite plate or in their favorite cup.
4. Sensory Goodies-Hand Fidgets, Chew Tubes, Spinning toys, etc.- When he gets starts to get anxious, these things will help distract him and relieve stress.
5. Favorite Toys/Activities-Familiar toys and activities will keep him busy if he doesn’t want to play with the other kids. Plus, they are familiar to him, which helps his anxiety levels. Plus, I know his toys are safe and he can’t eat them.
6. Favorite Foods & Drinks-Monkey is a picky eater. In hopes preventing a meltdown, I will just take one of his frozen pizza’s and his special drinks.
7. Baby Wipes-These are lifesaver. They clean up any mess!
8. Change of Clothes-For you and the kid…Enough said!
9. Weighted Blanket-To wrap him up with or lay over him, to help calm him down when he gets crazy hyper or anxious.
10. Noise Reduction Headphones- To cancel out any the overwhelming noise of everyone talking and laughing, kids playing, loud tv’s, etc.
A fan/reader suggested a a box of Kleenex’s in case of a good cry on the ride home. It made me giggle, because often times I leave feeling overwhelmed and in need of a good cry.