The holiday season is revving up to get ready to roll. While we acknowledge there are significant stressors for you and your loved ones at this time of year, we could also consider the stress and comfort of extended families and friends. It is not your job to do everyone else’s job, however, taking a few moments to realize the impact you and your loved ones have on others could make family and friend gatherings more enjoyable for everyone.
Providing information about characteristics that are unique to your loved one, may create a more tolerant and understanding environment. A simple phone call, text or email to the host or hostess the explain those ‘quirks’ that you and your immediate family may not even notice. For example, let the homeowner know if your loved one needs to see all the bathrooms upon entering a new location or if your loved one may go around the home and close all the doors.
Help your extended family and friends better understand your loved one’s form of communication. Share his/her successes and any ‘triggers’ that may exist (ie: asking more than 3 times to clarify a phrase or word). Provide a few simple tips for the best way to engage your loved one (ie: asking yes/no questions or asking questions about the here/now vs past/ future).
Anticipate situations that may prove to be very stressful not only for you and your loved one, but the host/hostess. Communicate that you may be bringing a different meal for your loved one to enjoy vs eating the traditional meal. Share that your loved one may take a ‘break’ during the meal and what that can be expected (ie: your loved one may need to take a break in a room where you can guide your loved one to quiet area).
Open and host communication and preparation can create a setting where everyone enjoys their time together creating memories!
Yours in Speech,
Lakeshore Therapy Speech, LLC.