Thanksgiving, full of traditions and customs. It is the beginning to the much anticipated upcoming holiday season. Turkey, great games of football and family dinner all have one underlying theme. It's a time to spend with friends and family. For some, socialization can be more challenging, dampening the spirit of the holiday. ABA methodology can be a useful tool for increasing socialization and implementing the tools for functioning in our social settings. For children with ASD implementing protocols can help in your thanksgiving preparations. For starters not every family tradition may work well with individuals with ASD, some can work better than others. Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when planning your Thanksgiving. Remember that not every tip is necessarily true for every individual. These are just a broad spectrum of tips that can be helpful. 1- Starting a conversation can come naturally for some people, for others a little preparation and prompts may be beneficial. Prepare in advance with your child some conversation starters or basic tips to include in a conversation. For example if your child is a football fan and that would be something that would interest them, prepare some basic conversation material about football. 2- Turkey, pumpkin pie and cornbread are some of the foods customarily eaten on thanksgiving. Yet, not every child with ASD can appreciate traditional foods as much as others. Some textures and tastes may be too much for your child or they may not be accustomed to trying new foods. Have a back up plan, if you are the host make another dish that will be compatible with your child. If you are not the host try to bring some food along (notifying the host can be a good idea to not insult their cooking). 3- Fashionably late, can be a great way to get attention. That does not mean it's a great idea for everyone. If you arrive last it exposes your child to new faces and a new location simultaneously. It can be overwhelming. Let them process everything slowly, arrive early as to acclimate your child the unfamiliar place. Then when everyone arrives they will have an easier time to work on socializing and greeting everyone appropriately. 4- This is a continuation of last tip. Practice greeting everyone and what is considered appropriate behavior, work on greeting family and strangers alike. Find out who the crowd is beforehand to practice different greetings depending on the crowd.

Lastly make sure to have a great time and let your children know how appreciative and thankful you are of them. For a custom ABA plan to help navigate the holidays, reach out to Yellow Bus ABA today.

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