How to Holiday: 2023

Hi BTL Fam!

We have already reached the end of the year! What a year it has been. We are so thankful for another holiday season to celebrate and end the year with. Joy, happiness, and cheer fill the end of the year. However, some of us know all too well the stress, the unpredictability, and overstimulation that the holiday season can also bring with it. We want to share with you some of our favorite tips and tricks for those with autism. Find them in our 2023 edition of “How to Holiday”.

This year, we want to encourage you to keep things simple! With all the hustle and bustle, it is easy to find yourself asking all the “what if” scenarios and overplaying, thus over stressing yourself. As an ABA provider, we absolutely encourage you to have a plan in place, but no need to over-think things!

While thinking of recommendations to keep the holiday season merry and bright, we put together an 8-10 bulleted list outlining all the things that families could do to prepare for your loved one with ASD. If we are being realistic, you probably don’t have time to complete everything on a list that long though! And that is OKAY!!

This year we are recommending trying 3 easy things to do:

  1. Talk about it: Let your child know what is to be expected beforehand. Making things as clear and concise as possible.
    • Note to also let your family and friends know what is happening as well and feel free to celebrate as you wish.
  2. Give choices: Increasing opportunities to build independence is always a good idea! Instead of telling your child what they have to do, which can lead to additional problem behaviors, you can ask them what they would like to do with 2 simple choices you provide.
    • For example: Would you like to sit at the kids table or the grown up table?, Would you like to open this present or that one first?
  3. Encourage communication: Allowing your child the opportunity to communicate their wants and needs will help them advocate for themselves! Encourage them to use phrases such as “can I be done?”, “I don’t like this,” or “I need help.” These simple phrases will encourage learners to use their words, rather than engaging in a problem behavior. If your child uses an AAC device or sign language, simple requests such as “all done”, “go”, and “more” are great starters to communicate different needs.

Other considerations

As we mentioned earlier, there are other helpful considerations to add to your holiday festivities. We have outlined some for you to review as you wish. However, we encourage you to keep it simple this year and not overwhelm yourself to make everything “picture perfect.”  Our lives are best enjoyed when things are perfectly imperfect!

Autism Friendly Holiday Tips

We wish you a very happy holiday season! If you or a loved one are needing more resources regarding the holiday season, please reach out to or send an inquiry on our website!

Looking for more??

If you haven’t already, check out our other holiday themed blog posts! You might find these helpful for the holiday season:

7 Autism Friendly Christmas Celebrations