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IBT’s Top Ten Holiday Tips Minimize Challenges for Children with Autism and Their Families
Date:11/19/2013

Nationwide (PRWEB) November 19, 2013

The Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT) this week released ten of its top tips to minimize challenges for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during the holiday season.

IBT is a leading training institute that provides innovative programs to meet the current and emerging needs of parents, caregivers, healthcare providers, and human service professionals across the globe.

“The holiday season is usually a time for celebration and joy, but many families of children with autism find that it can also be a time of stress,” says IBT director Cecilia Knight, MA, BCBA. “These children typically have a tough time coping with change, including different places and different people, and they are often sensitive to loud sounds, bright lights, and even touch. These ten tips are effective for many families with children with autism.”

Knight says families can prevent or reduce most stressful situations with the following ten tips:

1. Make a schedule of activities each day (using pictures or words) to ensure that expectations are clear for the whole family. Set this up ahead of time to help prepare your child for the events of the day and minimize negative reactions to unexpected activities. Also, don’t over schedule the day! Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for breaks and down time.

2. Have your child assist in the order of events or reinforcement schedule for each day (grocery store first, arcade second, then library). This will provide him/her with choices and a sense of control over portions of the day.

3. Take a day trip. Visit a museum or sporting event together; boredom can be your worst enemy.

4. Bring toys, video games, or other entertainment to keep kids occupied during commutes or wait time.

5. Remember to take visual cues (i.e., schedules and communication devices) with you on outings.

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