They're supposed to be fun and full of festivity and fellowship. So why do holiday parties often turn hellish when your child with special needs is subjected to them? Maybe it's a school party with dangerous treats, a party at a family member's house that's made for meltdowns, or a party at your own home that sends your young host fleeing to his room. You don't want to become holiday hermits, but often the ratio of good times to bad is so skewed that partying seems like a bad bet.
With a little planning, though, you can become party people. Being sensitive to your child's need for routine and control is a good place to start. Read "Before You Throw a Holiday Party" and "Special Needs Children and Special Occasions" for some tips on managing your partying, and consider this a whatever works situation. You want to do some holiday socializing, but you don't have to be the first one to come and the last one to leave, and you don't have to let guests take over your entire life. Even if they're family. You may find that catering to your child's needs will make parties more enjoyable for all sorts of reasons.