Nov 11, 2021

How To Plan Christmas With Special Needs Children


Plan christmas with special needs children

For many families Christmas can be a very special time, and can be magical for the children, however being a family with a child who has special needs or disabilities can make the most magical time of the year harder. 

How to plan the perfect Christmas?

Like all families, there can never be a hundred percent perfect Christmas that is foolproof, and even when you plan everything, and stick to your Christmas list. Life can get in the way and things can go wrong. However having a checklist, can make life easier, when planning for Christmas day. Where to start, well id suggest planning your perfect Christmas, a few months before Christmas and make sure that as much as possible is planned, you may even start your Christmas checklist, the Christmas before. This can then mean you are able to improve your Christmas year upon year, till you finally can have the most perfect Christmas. 

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is a huge thing to plan when you have a special needs or disabled child because you need to make sure sensory wise, this is ok for your child. Also making adjustments in the home for the safety of the tree, you may have a child who may try to eat, touch or even climb the tree, making sure it's secure at home, in a spot where it's safe for your child. This then follows on to the Christmas lights, Christmas decorations and even the placement of any ornaments. Many children love to touch the Christmas tree's at the best of times so making sure it's in a secure place, with secure lights and decorations and ornaments, is important for safety. I personally like to use battery lights so I know they are not connected to any electricals if any disasters did occur. I am also picky with my decorations in case they have small parts, or easily become loose. I try and decorate the tree higher up so it can be viewed but not attract any unwanted potential hazards. 

Advent Calendars

Advent calendars are a fun way for children of all ages to get hyped up and be able to enjoy Christmas, many children with needs however may not be able to restrict themselves to opening 1 door a day, and this can cause stress, so I think that advents with special needs can be done, but it's normally better to make your own wrap it and bring it out daily so that it reduces anxiety and dress. Change can cause issues with many disabilities and special needs children. Using a calendar as a date/number than presents, chocolate can help reduce anxiety. Many children who have special needs and disabilities use a range of communication and PECS ( photo communication, visuals) in order to understand what's happening Now, Next and later, using visual advent calenders can help children and ease them into preparing for Christmas. 

Wrapping paper

Many people who love to celebrate Christmas love the different designs of wrapping paper, there is lots to pick, however, what we forget when wrapping something, is that actually there is a lot of textures and sounds that come with the paper, take some glittery paper for instance, that is very ruff and can leave your hands covered in glitter, to children and even adults with special needs this is a sensory issue and can cause distress. So making sure we pick a wrapping paper that is not only good at limiting sensory needs but also the noise it makes when being ripped open can help a lot when planning Christmas with special needs children and adults. 

Christmas Clothing

A way to reduce anxiety on Christmas day is to make sure you plan the clothing options, we all want to be wearing the best ugliest Christmas sweater on Christmas day, however, realistically children with special needs will want to wear something that is comfortable to them. I suggest if you are planning any outfits, to do a trial run or two before the main event. This is so you can see how your special needs children handle the textures of the clothing, or if the clothes need adapting to fit in around their disabilities. 

Christmas Dinner

So you have a fussy eater, with many sensory issues and you're not sure they're going to eat Christmas dinner? We id suggest a new Christmas tradition, making food you know they will eat and enjoy. There is nothing worse than being forced to eat your Brussels sprouts right? So why force your special needs child to do it when you planning for Christmas dinner? If you are however wishing for your child to sit down and enjoy a festive meal, then why not dish the tasty treat a few times, beforehand so they get a taste of what's in store for the main event on Christmas day. Remember it can take a while to get used to the textures and smells of the food being offered, so dishing up the turkey a few times beforehand can help ease the transition from the pasta and cheese, to a delicious roast. 


  1. My one piece of advice for parents of kids with special needs:-
    Don’t put so much pressure on yourself—stop expecting everything
    to be “perfect.”
    The holidays are stressful for everyone, and a kid’s special needs
    adds an extra degree of difficulty. But try not to get caught up in
    the little details—just enjoy the time with your family.
    It may not look or sound or feel the way you envisioned, and it may
    not run as smoothly as you’d hoped, but it can still be special....!

    What are good toys for special needs?

    Blocks, Legos, and Similar Building Toys..
    Swings and Slides..
    Water Toys..
    Bubbles and Foam..
    "Sensory" Toys..
    Simple Card and Board Games..
    Art Supplies..

    A Very Merry and Happy Christmas to one and all...
    🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄


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