Five Ideas for Successful Celebrations

These planning strategies can be used to prepare and help a person on the autism spectrum participate in celebrations and events that happen throughout the year.

1. Simplify

Keep change to a minimum – reduce decorations, limit visitors, keep travel to a minimum.

2. Themes Outside the Box

Pick party ideas that truly fit the person’s interests – night at the museum, movie night at home, or an environment you might rule out due to noise and chaos sometimes is a great success.

3. Countdown the days

Use visual aides to show the day until the big event.

4. Photographic Memories

Take extra photos at holidays and birthdays with an eye toward using them the following year to remind your child of fun times and to prepare for changes. Photos can illustrate how the house looked when decorated for any holiday or how the room was rearranged to celebrate the holiday.

5. Detailed Schedules

Create a special schedule on a plain calendar using pictures and simple words to show the schedule for the season. Include on the calendar the outings, school events, concerts, church activities, baking, making decorations, and plans for visitors or travel.

This article is taken with permission from, where readers can go online and, by signing in, can access free copies of the magazine’s eGuide, which is packed full of more information on holidays and gift giving for children on the spectrum.

Related Articles:

Complete List of All Articles on Autism Spectrum Directory


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