The holidays are meant to be a time for celebration, love, and unity among family and friends – But that doesn’t mean that they are always stress free. Often times the “most wonderful time of year” can bring with it some much unwanted anxiety, especially for parents of children with special needs. E-Z-ON PRODUCTS, INC. of FLORIDA has put together some of our best holiday tips to ensure this time of year is as joyous as possible for you and your family:
Here are 3 Ways to Reduce Holiday Travel Stress for Your Child with Special Needs:
- Plan Ahead
Of course, planning ahead can always reduce stress in any situation, but many times during the holiday’s, even the most precise plan can go astray. For children with special needs, a backup plan in case of travel delays can be extremely beneficial to keeping the travel process as smooth as possible. In 2015, the winter holiday saw over 26%, or 82,761 flights delayed. To prevent stress during a delay, research the airport’s layout before flight day to get an idea of where you could go with your child to find entertainment or quiet time. Many airports are home to restaurants, stores, art installations, and even playgrounds. Keeping children with special needs engaged during a delay can help reduce holiday stress for you, and your child, so knowing where to go ahead of a delay is key.
- Pack Accordingly
Forgetting an important item when dealing with a stressful trip can be an easy, yet devastating mistake, and packing for children with special needs can be even more detrimental as many times a forgotten item can mean the difference between a relaxing or anxiety ridden trip. When packing for a trip, imagine yourself unpacking the bag at your destination. Run yourself through an expected day on your trip, and see if you have all of the materials packed to get yourself through that day. Many times it is easy to forget a simple bedtime object, so run through the most important scenarios before considering yourself packed. And, of course, make a list… and check twice!
- Educate Others
When visiting family or friends, it is easy to convince yourself that you are becoming a burden during your stay. For families of children with special needs, making sure that all family members are informed and educated about specific events that may occur during your trip can make the difference when a stressful situation arrives. Communicating with friends and family about when their help is needed, and when it is not needed, is also an important step in keeping the situation under control. Do not be afraid to be verbal about your needs during these situations, as the comfort of your child is the most important priority.
These three reasons may not be the solution to all of your holiday stress, but they certainly can help. The most important factor to remember during the holidays is that it is a time for you to celebrate, and that the memories you make during this season can last forever in the hearts of you and your family. Always remember that planning ahead, packing accordingly, and educating others before a trip can save you much unwanted stress, and that the most important task during the holidays is simple: Enjoy yourself!