Making Christmas More Joyful for Kids With Special Needs

Santa Claus and Mrs. ClausMany of us look forward to Christmas. Kids that have certain types of special needs might feel left out, or overwhelmed, by the ways that their family celebrates this holiday. Here are some quick tips to help make Christmas more joyful for kids who have special needs.

It is a tradition that children write a letter to Santa. Sometimes, Santa answers that letter. When he does, it a note that is written on paper, (and possibly signed by Santa himself). This makes many children happy. However, it leaves out the kids who are blind or who have a vision impairment.

Santa doesn’t want to leave anyone out! So, he has asked the staff at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute to become “honorary elves”. They will help Santa to send out letters to children that are in Braille.

Would a letter from Santa that is in Braille make your child happy? If so, then fill out the form on the NFB website. This is being offered to boys and girls who are under the age of 10 and who live in the United States. Make sure you fill in the form before December 17, 2012. Your child will receive a reply from the North Poll that is in print and contracted Braille.

Santa America has put together a very helpful video. It is called “Preparing children with special needs to meet Santa Claus”. In it, Santa describes what a child should expect when he or she is visiting with Santa.

He discusses his beard, clothing, gloves, boots, and hat. He explains that it is ok to stand next to Santa or to sit near Santa. He points out that people will be taking pictures. The end of the video is a demonstration where Santa is speaking with a couple of children.

This is a great video for parents to watch with their children. It can help kids who have autism to gain a better understanding about how a visit with Santa “works”.

The video is on YouTube and can be watched as many times as your child needs in order to be ready for a visit with Santa. Parents might want to seek out a Sensitive Santa or Caring Santa event because those are designed to accommodate the needs of kids with autism or a sensory disorder.

Christmas isn’t fun if you spend the whole time sneezing and wheezing. If your child has allergies, it is possible that he or she will have an allergic reaction to the real tree that is in your living room. Choose an artificial tree instead.

Image by Mark Holloway on Flickr