It’s that time of year again: “Jingle Bell Rock” is more ubiquitous than dust, and my kids’ screams as they watch TV ads get more shrill with the expectation that this time might be different — they just might get the bauble they are nagging about. Despite that, I do really enjoy this time of year. It’s kind of like a mini-summer vacation: lots of time for travel, family, and special activities. And the kids get much-needed time to just veg out. But just because this is a jam-packed winter vacation, don’t slip off track with your speech and language goals. These wintertime speech therapy holiday activities will keep your speech student on track, and generate some fun in the meantime.
There is plenty of frenetic activity during the holidays—baking, wrapping, picking up in-laws at far-flung airports—but the holiday season is also a time when our regular routines grind to a halt. Kids stay home from school, appointments are put off until after the New Year, and cold weather drives even the most driven among us to hunker down inside.
The holidays are an exciting time of year, but for families with special needs children, they can also be particularly stressful. Some children, such as those with autism, cannot easily cope with changes in routine, loud and overbearing relatives, and shopping-crazed Black Friday crowds at the mall. Other kids with articulation disorders and similar speech issues might become frustrated that they cannot communicate well with extended family members. Some families choose to skip the mayhem altogether and take off for a relaxing vacation in Costa Rica. But if Costa Rica isn’t in the cards for your family, consider these solutions for holiday survival with a special needs child.