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When planning a birthday party for a child with autism, there are different ways you can help to make your child’s special day a great experience. Here are a few suggestions to consider as you plan the celebration.
When thinking about what will happen during the party, choose activities that your child enjoys and is already familiar with.
When choosing birthday treats and snacks, consider the dietary and sensory needs and preferences of your child. If other children with autism will be attending, it may be helpful to offer a wider variety of food choices. You may want to consider offering food after a physical activity.
The social attention of opening gifts may cause anxiety for some children. You may want to open gifts after the party has ended. Another option is to ask guests to give a gift card to a favorite store or restaurant or bring a donation to a local food bank or charity in place of a gift.
It is important to plan ahead for activities that may cause sensory overload for your child. Lighting candles and singing may be too much for a child to handle.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.