By Robin Suzelis, Director
Pictured: Robin Suzelis, Director, and her family
When you have children with autism, every day seems to have its challenges, but the holiday season can really take it up a notch.
As a mom of two boys with autism, ages 12 and 17 years, I have learned to simplify a little more every year not to be overwhelmed. Here’s a few of my lessons learned:
- Decorating is simple and easy. One tree with a few ornaments is enough
- Gifts for teachers, therapists, and family are little bath & body sets from my favorite local store in Columbiana, and I add gift cards to those I need. They come gift-wrapped and ready to go.
- Gifts are not the focus. My boys don’t ask for anything since they have low verbal skills and few interests. So we get them a couple of toys to open, sometimes a gift card to the trampoline park or other activity, and finish up with their fall/winter clothes shopping.
- Gift our future selves. We also make a small donation to their STABLE savings accounts. We are not financial planners, but we know their long-term care needs will be costly.
- Holiday travel plans are kept to a minimum. We used to be going in every direction. We realized quickly when our boys were little that they needed structure, predictability, and time to rest and just to be.
What all kids need is to be loved by patient and caring parents. The gift of our time and attention is always the best gift. So take a trip to their favorite store or restaurant or stay home to cuddle on the couch, watch a fun holiday movie, or bake cookies with them.
If you are looking for a few more ideas, check out this video
Here are some tips and resources to help make your holiday season a little easier and brighter. 3 Ways to Brighten Your Loved One’s Holiday Season – Video with some great tips for the holidays and year-round –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYsahvXkYYA