Tips for a Successful Holiday Season With a Loved One With Autism From Autism Memoir Author Monica Holloway

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| Source: Author Monica Holloway

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Challenges for people with specials needs can become even more acute around the holidays, and autism memoir author and parent Monica Holloway, of Cowboy & Wills [Simon & Schuster], has compiled the following suggestions for a successful holiday season with a loved one with autism:

  • Use visuals. Social stories or calendars can help your child prepare for and understand the activities ahead.
     
  • Practice. Role-playing holiday routines can help your child to prepare for holiday traditions in advance.
     
  • Gradually decorate. If your child doesn't like change, slowly decorate your home in stages.
     
  • Create a photo album of holiday guests. Prior to relatives and guests visiting, make and look through a photo album with your child to familiarize him or her with expected visitors.
     
  • Ensure allergy/diet-friendly foods are available. If your loved one has a dietary or allergy restriction, make sure to bring or have food at holiday events that he or she can eat.
     
  • Arrive early. Allowing the noise and crowd to gradually build up may help your child better acclimate to the surroundings.
     
  • Have a quiet room. In case the noise or crowds become overwhelming, have a calm, quiet place for your loved one to retreat to.
     
  • Help others understand autism. Prepare family and friends on your child's strengths and challenges, and invite them to be a part of the support team.

Says Holloway, "My wish this holiday season is that everyone finds 'family' somewhere; in friends, in relatives, in strangers on a park bench. Don't be alone. And if you are alone, find a way to volunteer or join a community activity so that you will know and reap the benefits of allowing 'family' in your life."

ABOUT MONICA HOLLOWAY: Monica Holloway is the bestselling author of Cowboy & Wills, a Mother's Choice Award's Gold recipient, and the critically-acclaimed author of the memoir Driving With Dead People. Holloway lives with her son and husband in California. http://www.monicaholloway.com/ https://twitter.com/monica_holloway

ABOUT COWBOY & WILLS: Cowboy & Wills, published by Simon & Schuster, tells the story of the golden retriever puppy that changed Monica Holloway's disabled son's life by becoming his first friend and coaxing him out into the world. http://www.cowboyandwills.com https://www.facebook.com/cowboyandwills

ABOUT AUTISM: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, autism now affects about 1 in every 88 American children. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships. http://www.autismspeaks.org

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