Christmas & birthdays should be a time for fun, surprises, family and joyfulness. For those with autism and other special needs, these are often times that induce anxiety, stress and meltdowns rather than the excitement you might normally expect. A visual timeline that indicates special events and how they fit into a regular schedule will ease anxieties. Can be used at home and school, particularly around Christmas time when different things are happening in both places.
A list of symbols about putting up decorations, eating special food, playing music and following other traditions is a good way to start a conversation and learn about what it’s going to be like at Christmas or a birthday party. It provides an opportunity to think about anything that might be uncomfortable and decide on some calming and coping strategies.
These special events are also associated with specific social expectations, such as when going to other people’s houses, welcoming visitors at home or giving and receiving presents. Use TomTag to help teach behavioural expectations and how to cope with different social situations.
Typical users might include:
- Visual learners (common in individuals with autism)
- Children and young people with communication difficulties
- Children and young people with developmental disabilities