Winter can be a magical time of year, filled with holiday cheer and snowy adventures. However, for
families with children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the winter months can present unique
challenges. But fret not! With a little extra care and consideration, you can create a warm and enjoyable
winter season for your child with ASD. Here are five friendly tips for handling ASD children during the
1. Embrace Sensory-Friendly Clothing
Winter clothing can sometimes be a sensory minefield for children with ASD. To keep your child
comfortable and happy, opt for sensory-friendly clothing options. Look for soft, tagless garments and
consider letting your child pick out their winter gear. Layering is also a great strategy, allowing you to
adjust to changing temperatures. If gloves or hats are a no-go, try cozy hand warmers or ear muffs
2. Create a Cozy Indoor Haven
Winter weather often means spending more time indoors. Transform your home into a cozy haven for
your child. Set up sensory-friendly spaces with soft blankets, pillows, and calming lighting. Encourage
activities that engage your child’s interests, such as reading, art, or building puzzles. Having a safe and
comfortable indoor space can help your child feel secure during the colder months.
3. Plan Winter-Themed Activities
Winter offers a host of wonderful activities that can be adapted to suit your child’s sensory preferences.
Try building a sensory-friendly snowman or experimenting with indoor snow play using materials like
baking soda or cornstarch. Nature walks in winter can be captivating, and you can tailor them to your
child’s interests. Keep an eye out for winter wildlife or collect pinecones and leaves for craft projects.
4. Stay Informed About Sensory Overload
Winter often brings a flurry of events and gatherings, which can be overwhelming for children with ASD.
Stay informed about the sensory challenges your child might face and be prepared. Carry noise-
canceling headphones or earplugs to help your child manage noisy environments. Plan for breaks when
attending holiday gatherings and create a quiet space where your child can retreat if needed.
Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your child’s comfort and well-being.
5. Savor Healthy Winter Foods
Winter holidays often bring delicious treats, but it’s important to maintain a balanced diet for your
child’s overall well-being. While it’s perfectly fine to indulge in festive goodies, try to include nutritious
options in your child’s diet as well. Warm soups, roasted vegetables, and seasonal fruits can be both
healthy and comforting. A well-balanced diet can contribute to your child’s mood and energy levels
throughout the winter.
Winter with a child on the autism spectrum can be a delightful and cozy season with a little planning and
understanding. Embrace sensory-friendly clothing, create a comfortable indoor space, and engage in
winter-themed activities. Be prepared for sensory overload when attending events, and savor healthy
winter foods to nourish your child’s body and spirit. With these five friendly tips, you can ensure that the
winter months are filled with warmth, comfort, and memorable moments for your child with ASD.