How To Help Your Child With SPD Cope With The Holidays

Loud music, lots of crowds hustling and bustling to buy Christmas presents, long line-ups and waiting for sometimes an hour can be daunting and frustrating for even the best of us adults.  

But what if you have a child with SPD?  The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation offers tips for families in helping their children learn to cope with the craziness during the holidays.

Tips to help your child with SPD make the holidays a little brighter and more manageable

Loud noises – In malls and shops and everywhere you go music is a holiday tradition that rings out.  Kids with SPD sometimes have a difficult time with loud noises.  So bring along some earplugs or earphones to help them cope with the loud noises and make them feel more at ease while you are shopping.

Eating – Our son is a picky eater and not because he’s bad or wants to cause trouble. SPD causes him to be fussy with certain foods and needing his foods a certain way.  Bring along extra snacks and treats if you are going to a family gathering or restaurant over the holidays. This will help if there is food your child doesn’t like or want to eat and alleviate the meltdowns that might occur. 

Communication is the key – Kids with SPD don’t always handle change well. So map out your day and make sure you include your child in your itinerary choices.  Often times kids will be okay if they know what is happening and where they are going. This inclusion eases fears and anxieties that can crop up as you cross off places to visit on your list of chores. 

Look for Cues – Watch your child for their cues to tell you what is going on inside of them. If the stress of loud noises or too many people are beginning to cause an overload to their senses, you will see the changes in their behavior and body language. Have a safe place to take a time-out and calm down.

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No matter how you choose to spend time during the holidays, take into consideration your child with SPD. Above all explain to family and friends who don’t realize what SPD is — your child isn’t acting up on purpose or trying to be bad. This condition is a part of who they are and care and consideration needs to be a requirement if they are to spend time with you and yours.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas!


  1. Karen Medlin December 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Great Post!!! Happy Holidays to you and your family..

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author December 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Karen you too!

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