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Host an Inclusive Holiday Celebration with These 4 Tips

A few of our favorite holidays are right around the corner. You may be making plans already for hosting one of these annual holiday celebrations at your home. If you have family members with developmental disabilities attending, be sure to include them in the festivities as well. RISE Services, Inc. Utah recommends following these four tips for a fun and inclusive holiday family celebration.

Host an Inclusive Holiday Celebration With These 4 Tips

1. Plan the Day’s Events

Many people, including those who live with developmental disabilities, thrive on routine and expectations. Having a schedule for the day’s holiday events can give guests with disabilities peace of mind in regard to the day’s activities. It may even be helpful to send out an itinerary via email to everyone so they clearly understand what will be taking place and when.

2. Encourage Guests With Disabilities to Participate

One of the best ways you can make family members with disabilities feel welcome is to include them in the day’s events. Maybe you could ask them to pass out gifts after dinner. Perhaps they could choose a board game the whole family can play. They may want to be an active part of the holiday gathering rather than simply sitting by and watching everyone else have fun. Make sure they are by asking them to help out where they can.

3. Keep Noise & Distractions at a Minimum

Many family festivities can easily become loud, noisy, and overstimulating. Try to keep these distractions at a minimum in order to accommodate those living with developmental disabilities. They may appreciate having family around to spend time with or all the Christmas lights in the house to look at, but there may be a point where it becomes too much for them.  

4. Provide a Quiet Zone

As much as individuals living with disabilities love to have fun, they also may need a place to relax and calm down if they become overstimulated. Make accommodations before this happens by preparing a bedroom or office space as a quiet zone for anyone who may need it. You can also help them feel better by including calming activities like crayons and coloring books, fidget toys, puzzles, or anything else they may enjoy while taking a break.

Supporting Individuals With Developmental Disabilities in Utah

At RISE, we are glad to be a part of assisting in the personal growth and development of children and adults with developmental disabilities. With our person-centered services and home and community-based programs, we provide several opportunities for individuals living with developmental disabilities through our after-school and summer programs, employment services, and residential services. Contact us today to learn more.

Source: Kimmerling, Dr. Melissa. “Supporting Individuals with Disabilities During the Holidays.” Blog article. Nebraska Methodist College Blog. Nebraska Methodist College, 12 Dec. 2019. Web. 11 Nov. 2022.