COVID-friendly holiday traditions for families with children with special needs

Alternative Holiday Traditions to Try This Year

Dec 1, 2020

It’s December 2020, and at this point, we’ve run out of numbers to count the ways in which this year is different. As we enter the holiday season, we at Innovative Behavior Options are grateful for our staff, clients, and families and are eager to find ways to celebrate and acknowledge all that we have this season.

This is usually a time of year for joining with family and friends, and many of us have traditions that run deep. Change is hard (particularly for kids with Autism and other special needs!), so we want to offer up a few ideas for celebrating the holidays and the people in our lives even if we can’t be together this year.

Host a virtual holiday reading with your child

This is one of our favorite ideas! If your child is a reader, let him or her select and read a favorite holiday story to family members over video chat! Reading in front of people can be intimidating for some kids, but reading to a computer screen might be more comfortable. 

Write a letter to or schedule a call from Santa

Some kids look forward to a visit with Santa, and others (particularly younger kids and some kids with Autism) aren’t all that in to it. If you or your child isn’t comfortable with a traditional Santa visit this year, work together to write him a letter! There are also a number of services this year that will do a call or personalized video message from the big guy in red.

Make cookies

…and deliver them to family and friends you’d traditionally visit with this time of year. As a bonus, pouring and mixing help develop fine motor skills and rolling out and cutting dough is a great sensory activity!

Looking to take cookie making to the next level? Make a gingerbread house with your child! The different colors, textures, and smells make it another great sensory activity, and the final product is a cute decoration your kiddo can show off.

Decorate cards

The November and December holidays are frequently times of visiting and family togetherness, and this year, there are friends and family members we may not be able to see. Writing and decorating cards practices creativity and fine motor skills and is a great way to say “thank you,” “I love you,” or even just “thinking of you.” It’s also a great way for your child to learn and practice gratitude and recognizing their emotions.

At Innovative Behavior Options, we’d like to say a big thank you to all our staff and clients and wish everyone a very happy holiday season! If you’d like to learn more about how ABA therapy can help you or your child with autism or special needs increase independence and thrive, give us a call at 770-250-0093 or check out our website.


1155 Hembree Rd, Ste. 210
Roswell, GA 30076


M-F: 8am – 6pm
Weekends: Closed

Phone & Email

Phone: (770) 250-0093 ext. 700
Fax: (678) 412-1662