Christmas Time Visual Resources

In this weeks’ blog CENMAC’s Specialist Communication Support Assistant, Claire Hennings talks about her own experience of being a Mum to children with additional needs. She has put some very useful paper based visual resources together to support conversations with children and young people about Christmas and creating a routine during the holiday period.

Supporting children with additional needs over the holidays

Christmas holidays are nearly here, and as a mum to children with additional needs I know how challenging holidays can be for our young people. In my house it is due to the change or lack of routine.

I have put together some visuals which I hope can help your child to know what is happening during the holidays and reduce some anxieties.

I have hopefully included visuals suitable for your family including:

A monthly calendar

If like me, you have a child who asks what is happening every minute of every day then a visual timetable can really help.

I use a calendar at home all year round, but especially during the school holidays, this way my boys can see what is happening.

If they ask me  “What is happening on Tuesday?” I will tell them and give them as much detail as I can, such as who they are going to be with, how we are going to get there, what time we need to leave, if we are meeting anyone else etc. If they ask me again, I try to direct them to the calendar to look or ask them to tell me what is going to happen. I then fill in any missing information so that they can process the information and start to reduce their anxieties.

A weekly timetable

I use a weekly timetable to add what will be happening for the week in the morning and afternoons.

A daily routine

A daily routine can help reduce anxieties for our children. Sitting with your child and putting the routine for the day in place and having it somewhere that it can be seen can help with anxieties.

A now and next board

A now and next board needs to be changed throughout the day, showing your child what is happening now, for example, “Now it’s breakfast and next we going to brush your teeth.” Then it might be “Now we are brushing our teeth and next we are going for a walk in the park.”

Download the resources

> Calendar with school and no school symbols

> Christmas weekly timetable

> Core words for Father Christmas

> Social Story

> Meeting Father Christmas

> My daily routine

> Now and next

SENict Advent Calendar

SENict have a great free accessible advent calendar. You can download the calendar to use on your Windows PC. Download advent calendar.

I do hope these resources will be helpful and that you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. All the best for the holiday season.

Claire Hennings
CENMAC Specialist Communication Support Assistant