While the holidays are known for being a joyous and celebratory time of year, they can be challenging for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Whether you have years of experience navigating holidays with family members or this is a new adventure for you and your family, you can help make the holidays cheerful and relaxed for loved ones by following these four inclusive holiday tips from RISE Services, Inc. Arizona.
1. Find Out How Family Members with I/DD Wish to Be Included
The best way to include loved ones in the holidays is to ask how they wish to be involved. Do they enjoy Christmas parades and Hanukkah get-togethers or prefer small events and quiet gatherings? Would they like to help wrap Christmas gifts for family members and place them under the tree? Once you discover their preferences and wishes, add two or three of these events to your Christmas calendar.
2. Plan Favorite Holiday Traditions or Events
Many holidays involve special family traditions. Whether your family enjoys driving through the neighborhood to look at holiday lights or looks forward to sharing gifts during Hannukah, traditions hold a place in our hearts that reinforce family bonds during the holiday season. Sharing these family traditions with friends and loved ones will make Christmas especially memorable for everyone involved.
3. Create a Calendar and Stick to It
Avoid triggers and dodge the unexpected by creating a family Christmas calendar. For each event, include all details, such as date and time, location, activities taking place, and food or supplies to bring. If your child has a developmental disability and thrives on their routine, plan events around their daily schedule. If an adult family member with I/DD does their best when following a scheduled meal plan and an event interferes with that, bring a small meal or snack with you to the event.
4. Check-in With Your Loved One Often
Christmas can be fun and exciting for many but hectic and overwhelming for youth and adults with I/DD. Try not to assume your loved one is unaffected by the change accompanying holiday celebrations. Are there too many interruptions to their daily schedule? Do they need a quiet night at home instead of attending the next holiday party? Take the time to listen to their concerns and adapt your plans to their needs.
Happy Holidays from RISE Arizona
The staff at RISE Arizona extends a warm Season’s Greetings to you and your family. Learn more about our residential homes, Early Intervention program, foster care licensing service, and more when you contact us today.