This is a fun day for a lot of kids. Valentine’s Day means chocolates, candies, cards and treats. But for exceptional kids sometimes the comprehension of why we celebrate this day goes over their heads. As with many other tools, using Valentine’s Day as a tool to help kids with autism understand love, compassion and empathy can be used. Here are a few ways to make it fun:
- Help them fill out cards for friends or make their own: This is a great way to practice fine motor skills and get creative. It can also help smooth the way to making new friends which so difficult for our kids.
- Try new foods, even sugary ones IN SMALL quantities: This can help kids learn to try new foods and textures, even some sugary snacks. But who says it has to be junk food. Carrot sticks, red peppers or other red foods can make it fun.
- Invite a friend for a play date: This is a way of showing love and compassion and a great way to start teaching it is on Valentine’s Day.
- Have them help you decorate the house: Decorating the house with pictures, crafts is like a visual to help kids understand what the holiday means or could mean. Depending on your child’s comprehension level, you can talk about what Valentines means.
- Exchange small gifts with family members: Have a gift exchange or card exchange with other members of the family. This is a great visual to show your child what the day means.
Exceptional Parents, how do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Exceptional Child? How do you make it special without it becoming overwhelming and resulting in a meltdown? I’d love to hear from you. The important thing is to always use occasions as teaching opportunities. You’ll be surprised how much your child will teach you as you will teach them. Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy Valentine’s Day. Until next time.
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