6 year old with Aspergers/Autism/ Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Easter?

Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son is 6 years old and has recently been diagnosed with Autism, Aspergers, and Sensory Integration Dyfunction my question is how to make easter fun? I love easter its a big holiday to me and my family and he has never got the concept of the egg hunt? he loves to have an egg hunt but will usually race to fill his basket then will dump them all out and doesnt quit get the concept... anyone have any ideas of how to accomidate him and make easter fun for him???

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His stress may actually be from things other than the egg hunt. Having large groups of family around can often be very overwhelming. Talk with him about his feelings and how you can help him to be his best and have fun with everyone. My 6 year old son with aspergers needs a break at some point during the day. Maybe more than one. Even just being out of the usual routine can be very difficult for them. Maybe having a special hunt for him by himself so he doesn't have the competition may work. Ben is a twin his brother Zak has ADHD and is a sensory seeker so often he finds eggs faster and then I encourage him to spread the wealth. Hannah who is 5 is always thinking of them too.It is busy but fun.

Sheila - posted on 04/09/2011

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Hi Jennifer,

It sounds like it is fun for him....but it is no the fun you expect to see.

It is challenging, but we have to redefine so many of our expectations and create new "traditions". For example, for whatever reason, the song Happy Birthday sang in a traditional manner throws my son into a complete meltdown. Where is the happy if it upsets him...so, we techno it up, we beat box it, we jazz it up...but it is not the traditional happy birthday song that I always thought I would be singing.

My little boy, for the longest time, was happy to watch his sister collect the eggs. I wanted him to look and look at look...but after finding one, he was done. Same with Christmas...one present, and he was done. He was happy to do it this way, and I had to stop stressing over it....and that can be hard.

Have fun, and as long as he is having fun, follow his lead.

Sheila

Jenna - posted on 04/07/2011

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I think he gets the concept quiet well. Him dumping the basket might be his way of making it last longer because he had fun. Maybe add a twist to it where he has to dump all the eggs into a box or an actual location so he knows and actually see how the game ends. Sometimes they need a visual of the what happens next instead of just left there holding a basket of eggs and staring at them asking whats next. My son needs an actual step by step program in order to have fun. He needs a begining, middle and end. Now that he is older he gets that sometimes just collecting the eggs is the game, but as a toddler he would get frustrated leaving things hanging in the air so to speak.

Hope it helped, Im sure now that you have name for what is going on with him you will find creative ways to help him feel included and have fun.

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Diane - posted on 04/12/2011

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How about including a few little gifts (eg toy cars, balls, anything he likes that is small) in the egg hunt? He will get to open these so wont just dump them on the ground.

I once did a treasure hunt for a birthday party with cards that had the name of the gift written on them. You could do something like that, and you explain to your son, perhaps with a practice at home, that he brings the cards to you to get the prizes.

Im thinking that perhaps if he gets to hunt for something he likes, rather than eggs, he might get more of an idea. My son hates chocolate, so for him the fun would be in the finding, and then the counting (he likes to count things), and then he too would just tip the eggs and ignore them. But i know if he got a toy at the end, then he would be right into it.

I will give my son a couple of choc easter eggs this year (one is an aeroplane filled with little eggs) and a new Thomas friend train (bertie the bus). He will like the new train/bus, will like the aeroplane, and ignore the eggs, and either my daughter, myself or my husband will eat his eggs. But he loves Easter because he loves the toy.

Stacey - posted on 04/10/2011

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If he wants to do it in a specific order, try to tailor it to the others too. Make a game out of it. Have it be more of a hunt for red first and then the order he wants them in. My son loves change, so we put all sorts of change in his. I know that the dollar store near me has little plastic dinosaurs you can put inside the eggs, and one year I found specific dinosaur eggs at Wal-Mart. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 04/10/2011

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Thank you he loves dinosaurs and trains so maybe i can find a dinosaur puzzle he really isnt into puzzles but maybe if its dinosaur that will do the trick plus the puzzle will help with hand eye cordination im also thinking of glow in the dark eggs and maybe at night or getting dark with flashlights... its just kind of hard because he hates candy.. and i also like to add prizes to eggs so maybe some squishy dinosaurs for fidgets... we tried the other day with some eggs and he hid them for us he got extremely upset if we did not find them in the order he hid them such as red first then blue then yellow etc... it had to be in order.. so i am on the lookout for solid color eggs..ot suggested calling out red and have him get red only then blue then on and on etc... to switch it up thanks for all the helpful ideas and words of encouragements

Stacy - posted on 04/10/2011

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You can tailor it to what his interests are. For example - if he's into puzzles, you can hide eggs with a puzzle piece in each and let him go from there (my 5 yr old loves this). We also do cascarones (confetti eggs) - I have 10 dozen of them I put out in the yard, and let the kids go stomp on them or crush them on eachother (or the dogs). He understands the concept of smashing things quite well. :)

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