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Readers Respond: How Have You Tweaked Your Holiday Traditions?

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From the article: Tweak Your Traditions
When you have a child with special needs, holiday traditions often need adjustments to fit your family. How have you tweaked those time-honored habits to make the holiday season sweet for your child?

Tweaking holiday traditions

Both of my sons have autism. When my younger son was 4, he seemed much more sensitive to the changes that come with the holidays, particularly changes in the house with decorations, etc. He also seemed not to have much of a recollection of previous holidays, which probably contributed to his anxiety (he does not like the unexpected). Before putting up the Christmas tree, my husband and I asked him if he would like to have the tree up and he said no. We were both a little disappointed but prepared not to have a tree if it was too stressful for him. But then I came up with an idea. I asked my son if he would like an alphabet Christmas tree. The alphabet is one of his perseverations, and his face lit up when I said alphabet tree. He said yes, and a new family tradition was born. This will be the 4th year of our alphabet tree. We make our own alphabet ornaments and now we can also put some other non-alphabet ornaments on the tree. The whole family looks forward to putting up the tree!
—ECicconi

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