The holiday season is upon us and this can be both a wonderful and stressful time for families. Take a peek at the tips posted by the FASD Think Tank for making the most of this busy time of year. My favourite strategy is the first one on their list – having a “go bag” or “busy bag” for your event filled with things to occupy your child if they need a break from the action. Some of their suggestions are a headset, colouring books, washable crayons or markers, paper, playdough, music, or a craft. I think it’s key to have a bag ready to go (either in the vehicle or in a special spot) so it’s prepared when you need it. Some students do well having a bag or box like this in the classroom too. What do you like to include in your child’s “busy bag”?
Holiday events are a great opportunity to practice a self-regulatory script like the ones from Project LEARNet:
- Identify the issue – “Staying put in this spot for the parade is hard for you isn’t it?”
- State the reason – “It seems like it might be hard because there are lots of loud noises around.”
- Offer a strategy – “We could get your headphones from your busy bag so it’s quieter for you. Then you can focus on all the pretty lights on the parade floats.”
- Offer general reassurance – “Great, I’m glad that worked. Now we know to try it again next time we’re somewhere it’s too loud for you.”