From my personal perspective, here are some tips on helping your child to prepare for and get through Thanksgiving.
The first thing I think we should do is to try and keep on schedule as much as possible. Try to plan your shopping days when the kids are at school, activities, friends’ houses, etc. so that their schedules are not interrupted. Try not to take the kids to Black Friday either – it’s overwhelming for most people anyway, try to imagine what it’s like for a child with autism.
A good idea for family gatherings is to have a schedule and explain what’s going on to the child with autism. The best thing to do is to have a quiet space somewhere in your house so that if the kids are overwhelmed, they can go to that quiet space and tune out for a bit, whether that be playing video games or listening to music.
The feast table can be a frightening place for some children. If your kids are going to have a problem with food, it might be worthwhile to provide some of their favorite snacks to ease dinner table discomfort.
A good idea is to have the child prepare some of the decorations for the table and try to get him or her involved in either a craft project beforehand or a cookie project so they can feel as if they are contributing to the holiday that they can enjoy, too.
If your kid has touch issues, make sure to inform relatives and guests not to set the child off by hugging/kissing/touching/etc. Spare little Johnny of the pinched cheeks and lipstick all over the face. He or she will definitely appreciate the thought.
Whatever you do, have a fantastic holiday, celebrating the gift your child is and the good things that have happened together over the past year.