Health In Action Blog

Helping Families Navigate Holiday Gatherings


The holiday season can be an exciting time for everyone, especially for children. Creating an inclusive environment that children of all abilities can enjoy is a wonderful testimony to what the holidays are all about. Whether you’re a parent of a child with a disability or a grandparent, aunt, cousin, or friend, being aware of the needs of the child, especially during holiday gatherings is key to helping them experience the joy of this special time of year.

To help make holiday gatherings a fun experience for the child in your life, here are a few things to consider:

  • Determine the type of environment expected at the holiday party (e.g. number of anticipated guests, number of other children at the party).

  • Consider what types of foods will be served and prepare the child’s favorite food, if possible.

  • Plan to have special games or activities that are appropriate for the child and/ or their favorite game.

  • Explain the child’s disability to people at the party that you’re meeting for the first time to help make a comfortable setting.

  • Pay close attention to how the child is reacting to the environment (e.g. crowds, noise level).

We all know the importance of inclusion and being aware of the needs of a child with disability will help ensure they have the same opportunity to share the wonderful experience of the holiday season with their family and friends. 

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