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Asperger's Syndrome: A Developmental Disorder 
by Mary M. Alward August 03, 2005

Asperger’s Children and the Holidays

Asperger’s children are easily over stimulated. Their emotions overwhelm them and it is up to the people around them to make life easier for them.

The holidays are especially difficult for children who have Asperger’s Syndrome. Remember, they are not social people. Crowds and noise overwhelm them. They do not cope well with the hustle and bustle of holidays, especially Christmas. This brings a lot of stress into the life of the Asperger’s child.

Some Asperger’s children may not want to join in when the family opens presents. He may be checking out the lights on the Christmas tree, trying to figure out how they work, or he may sit in a corner participating in one of his obsessive hobbies. Let him be. If you pressure him to join in, he will become overwhelmed and go into a meltdown. This will only result in upheaval and chaos for the entire family. Allow the Asperger’s child to check out the lights and open his presents in his own time. The holiday will be much more pleasant for everyone involved.

Asperger’s Stress Factors

  • Noise. This includes the crinkle of wrapping paper, Christmas carols, singing and dancing Christmas decorations, or anything that causes sound on an ongoing basis.

  • Having too many people around. Crowds and the buzz of conversation can overwhelm the Asperger’s child.

  • Being pressured in anyway, such as to be on his best behavior, or to join in the festivities can cause overwhelming emotions in the Asperger’s child.

  • Too many visitors at the same time. Remember, the Asperger’s child does not like to be surrounded by people and noise.

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