The winter holidays are traditionally a time of peace, love, compassion, and good will. They're also a time for celebrations, special meals, family gatherings, excitement, travel, bright lights, voices raised in song, and so many other happy events and treats. When living with autism and related challenges, however, the holidays can be more stressful than anything else. With some good planning, however, the holidays will likely never be stress-free, but they can be more manageable. To that end, we've gatethered some parent-tested tips for making the holidays a bit smoother for families with autism other special needs.
Autism: Know The Warning Signs
Autism impacts one in every 88 children in the United States, and my son is that one. I’m Tara Cohen, and I’m the voice behind many of the Lauren’s Hope blog articles that (I hope!) you enjoy regularly. Last April, here on the Lauren’s Hope blog, I shared a little glimpse into life as a special-needs parent in honor of Autism Awareness Month. The year before, Lauren’s Hope did an awareness piece on my son, Will, before I joined the Lauren’s Hope team. This year, as the prevalence of autism grows ever more alarming than ever before, I’d like to share some early warning signs to help parents know what to look for in children under age two.
I am crying. There was a time when it seemed I did that a lot. Too much, perhaps. More than I knew I even could. Those were the early days. That was when my pediatrician first confirmed my armchair diagnosis that my son, Will, then just shy of two years old, had autism.