Tips To Help Your Child With Sensory Processing Disorder Stay Cool During Christmas  

The Christmas season is full of excitement and entertainment – from bright lights to the sounds of busy shoppers and Christmas music – all 5 senses are put to use during the holidays.

But for a child with sensory processing disorder this is an absolute nightmare. 

In fact, many children with this disorder become increasingly irritated around the holidays and have full-blown meltdowns, bewildering their parents.

The good news is, with a few small adjustments you can help your child still enjoy Christmas, without losing their cool.

Here are a few tips to get you started. 

Spread Out Activities 

From baking cookies to decorating the tree there are many moving parts that go into getting your home “Christmas ready.”

It’s fine to ask your child to join you in creating memories, but be sensitive to their needs and don’t put too much on their plate.

Maybe pick ten ornaments a night to hang on the tree or decorate one room at a time. 

Likewise, on Christmas Day, have them open just a few gifts at a time.

And remember, while you might love blinking lights and a tree that sings – it might horrify a child with sensory processing disorder!

Less really is more.

As much as possible, keep their comfort routines intact. 

Noise-Canceling Headphones 

If your child becomes agitated with loud noises – noise-canceling headphones are a must.

Being able to block out some of the noise will help shield them from the Christmas chaos.

Or as an alternative, consider a strong pair of headphones paired with their iPod so they can enjoy their own music without being forced to soak in all the sounds of bustling shoppers and loud music.

Don’t Overload Their Schedule

Yes, you might have a million stores and places to go to prepare for Christmas, but if at all possible, don’t drag your child with you everywhere you go!

Save their energy for key events they must attend – like a Christmas church service or dinner at Grandmas.

All the excess holiday parties and shopping extravaganzas might be too much for them.  

And if you are out at an event and notice your child is becoming upset or agitated – do not apologize for having to leave early!

It’s also completely appropriate to ask the host if there is a designated space in the house where your child can relax away from people.

Final Thoughts

Having a child with sensory processing disorder can have unique challenges, but there are ways you can overcome the difficulties and still give them an incredible Christmas.

As much as possible, make sure they are surrounded by their comfort items – whether a certain toy or blanket.

Don’t overwhelm them too much with unnecessary details, and guard their quiet time vigilantly! 

From all of us here at Mommy Underground, have a Merry Christmas!

If you are a mom with a child who has a sensory processing disorder, which part of the holidays is most challenging for you?

What are some other tips you have for moms to help keep their child relaxed during the Christmas season?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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