Home for the Holidays

It’s hard to believe the holidays are already upon us, and this year could bring some new challenges. Seeing family and friends is a great part of the holidays, but when your family is working with a therapist to meet developmental milestones, these interactions can cause additional stress. You may be wondering how to talk about it with your family. Or you may be wondering how your child is going to do playing, communicating or eating during the celebrating.

Here are some quick tips to help you get through:

• Talk with your therapist about concerns you have, and ask for specific ideas and activities that you can do over the holidays.
• As much as possible, keep your child’s daily routine in tact.
• Talk with friends and family before the actual visit, so you can spend your time celebrating instead of explaining.
• Sometimes, the best way to explain is to demonstrate. Give some information, and then show your family how to do what you are talking about. This gives YOU the chance to be the therapist
• Bring a few of your child’s favorite toys with so that he/she feels more comfortable, and has an opportunity to play in a familiar way.

Realize that your child will likely act differently when put in new environments. This is expected and perfectly normal. Offer your child more help, and be sure to add in some extra positive reinforcement. If you notice the family visits are getting too stressful for anyone, take a break!

Sarah Pifkin Ruger, MS, CCC-SLP