Central Coast Family • December 2013 • www.centralcoastfamily.com • Page 2
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Kristen Barnhart, Jennifer Best, Guy Crabb, Stephanie Foster, Molly Peoples, CS Perryess,
Steven Smith, David Vogel
Out of the Blue
Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade
Kevin L. Cole Photography
December can be a month of wonderfully fun family times, and a time when many go on vacation and travel to visit relatives or friends. Although primarily a time for rest and relaxation, this can also be a stressful season for our children. It can be doubly hard for children with behavioral
problems and diculties with
self-regulation. The holiday season can include a heightened level of stress for these children, with changes in routine and additional sensory stimulation at home and in public. This article will explore some tactics to make the month a smooth one, focusing on tips for travel and helping you to remain grounded. Preparation is key! Children need to know what is happening, and do better when they have consistent routines. School vacations and free time may be fun, but may also be stressful because of the change in routines.
Sometimes children benet from
looking at pictures of family members you visit infrequently. They also appreciate having a general schedule ahead of time. Children with developmental concerns need to be prepared to make a trip as comfortable as possible for them, as well as for the other people traveling. Initial preparation can be individualized for your children. It is often helpful to provide a trip countdown chart for a visual guide; such as a calendar or countdown rings. It is possible to create a book with pictures of family members to let your child know what they can expect. In general, anything that eases
their anxiety will be benecial. In
addition, it may be helpful to dry-run the trip, or review the process on a map before the actual date. For many children, these steps may need to be carried out a couple of times, regardless of
whether or not this is their rst
time traveling.At any time of year, airports can be chaotic and over stimulating. During the holiday travel season, crowds, noise, and confusion increase. If possible, plan air travel on less popular days. Remember that delays are often inevitable, and can make travel
more dicult for children. Arrive
with plenty of time, decreasing the need to hurry throughout the airport. In addition, make sure your children dress comfortably and travel with necessities. Remember to bring toys and books to feed their sensory systems and to keep them calm and regulated. Once you make
Holiday Travel with Kids
New Patient Special
EXAM & XRY
New patients only with paid cleaning. Cannot be combined with any other oﬀer. Exp: 12/31/13
878 Boysen Ave, San Luis Obispo
by Stephanie M. Foster, PhD, OTR/L