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Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

Practicing for the Holidays


An article published October 30, 2010 in the Boston Globe featured a school program for individuals with autism. At this school they help students prepare for community activities including holidays by practicing in the structured setting of the school to help learn the skills they need to be successful. The most recent holiday they help students prepare for was Halloween. They helped kids learn to dress up, travel from door to door, knock on doors, say “trick or treat” and hold out their candy bags in addition to all the other skills necessary for a successful Halloween excursion (i.e. coping with lights, noise, change, etc.). This practicing and priming for these special days can help students and families immensely. Many families avoid holiday traditions because their children have difficulty participating. This school program is doing such an amazing service for the students and the families by teaching students the skills they need to successfully participate in these traditions and supporting families during times and events that can be extremely stressful.

The school also teaches skills for other holidays, traditions and community events. By teaching students these skills, they are helping families more than teaching any academic skill will. That is definitely not to say academics are not important, but for many families if their children are not able to participate in day to day activities, family routines, holidays and rituals, there aren’t any academic skills that could be taught which could compensate.

Share your experiences with teaching your child or students the routines necessary to participate in community and holiday events!!

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