How to Enjoy a Merry Christmas With an Autistic Person

How to Enjoy a Merry Christmas With an Autistic Person

Christmas can be a joyous and fun time with your friends and family.

However, it can be difficult to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person due to all the traditional Christmas habits.

You can offer support for autism by trying to make Christmas merry for everyone including those on the spectrum.

Preparation and planning are essential steps to be able to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person.

You might have to make extra preparations to cater to a person with autism.

You can start by explaining how your Christmas will be celebrated.

Christmas is a period of bright lights, singing, aromatic food, and many people.

Unfortunately, a person with autism can suffer from sensory overload during Christmas.

Consider how you can accommodate a person's sensory system to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person.

Each person likely has their own Christmas traditions.

However, this might conflict with some of the sensory needs of an autistic person.

You can enjoy a merry Christmas with a person with autism by creating a new inclusive tradition.

Consider these ways to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person below:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Kelsey Motley, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Annalise Saylor, LPCC

Annalise Saylor, LPCC

(720) 449-4121
Julie Maloney, LPCC

Julie Maloney, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Olivia Woodring, LPCC, NCC

Olivia Woodring, LPCC, NCC

(719) 345-2424
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

(719) 696-3439

Make Plans

Generally, during Christmas, you prepare ahead for your family and friends.

However, when you have Christmas with an autistic person, you might want to make a few extra preparations.

It might be helpful to speak with the autistic person ahead of Christmas.

Autistic people might struggle with Christmas rules and traditions.

It would help an autistic person to enjoy Christmas when you explain your Christmas rules and traditions.

For instance, your Christmas tradition might include singing carols.

Practice is a good way to prepare for Christmas to ensure everything goes right.

People with autism prefer routines and predictability.

It would help if you could explain in advance how Christmas might go.

Remember to prepare the mind of the autistic person that some plans may change.

Planning and preparation is key to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person.

This is why it is important only to decide to have a Christmas when you believe you have enough time to prepare and plan.

Create New Traditions 

A great part about Christmas is continuing childhood Christmas traditions with your friends and family.

At some point, you can create your own Christmas traditions to share with other people.

A way to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person is to create and adjust new Christmas traditions to include them.

Before you create your new traditions, you might have to consider the most important part of Christmas to you.

Then you can decide what parts of Christmas you want to change.

For instance, you might decide the most important part of Christmas is spending time with your friends and family.

A typical Christmas can be difficult for an autistic person to cope with.

Christmas can have bright lights, loud noises, different people, and smells.

You might have to make big changes to your plans for Christmas.

One important thing to remember is that Christmas can be anything.

Even without decorations and loud music.

Try to embrace your new Christmas traditions.

Accommodate Differences in Sensory Systems 

An autistic person might have some sensory experiences that can cause stress, pain, or anxiety.

It is important to try to accommodate these sensory systems.

Accommodating their sensory systems might allow you to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person.

Try to consider the specific sensory systems of the autistic person you are spending Christmas with.

A good tip is to speak to the person with autistic about their peculiar sensory challenges.

For instance, you might discover that a certain meal can be distressing for an autistic person.

You can make any adjustments you can to accommodate the sensory needs of the autistic person.

Another way to accommodate the sensory systems of a person with autism is to pack a sensory kit or create an escape room.

Either the kit or room will contain items to manage sensory overload.

Consider sharing the sensory system with your other guests.

It is possible to find a balance to include an autistic person.

Thinking creatively and recognizing the person's sensory system will allow you to balance the party.

Understand Their Social Capacity 

Christmas is a period filled with multiple social interactions.

Some people can only manage to have some social interactions before they need a break.

Autistic people might suffer if they exceed their social capacity.

Social capacity can change on a day-to-day basis.

An ideal social interaction for an autistic person might be one-on-one conversations.

Consider having a Christmas where your autistic person can manage the number of people they have to interact with.

It is also important to allow the autistic person to have social breaks if necessary.

You can choose to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person through a video chat or phone call.

Carefully consider the most important things for Christmas to you,

An autistic might find a large gathering of people at Christmas difficult to bear.

You can decide to restrict the people around you for Christmas to only close friends and family.

Understand How Gifting Works for Them

One of the most common Christmas traditions for most families is gift sharing.

However, gifts can also be overwhelming for an autistic person.

An autistic person might struggle with what gifts to bring and receiving gifts.

An autistic person will likely have a special interest they prefer to receive as gifts.

It would help you if you would select a gift that would suit the person with autism in particular; certain gifts might even upset the person with autism.

If you are unsure of a gift, perhaps consider asking the person or a family member.

Although an autistic person might express some blunt thoughts about a gift, try not to assume it was meant to be rude.

Sometimes, autistic people struggle not knowing how to respond to gifts.

You might need to remember this to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person.

Gift-giving is another potential source of anxiety for an autistic person.

They might struggle with selecting an appropriate gift for someone.

You could consider setting rules on the type of gift the autistic person should provide.


You might want to enjoy a merry Christmas with an autistic person during Christmas.

After all, Christmas is a time to spend sharing love.

You can provide support for autism by taking active steps toward an enjoyable Christmas with an autistic person, such as making preparations, creating new traditions, accommodating other sensory systems, understanding social capacity, and gift sharing.


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July 24th, 2024

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