For children with special health needs, the holidays can be more difficult and stressful than fun and magical. Children with autism can become overwhelmed by the chaos of the holidays making Christmas parties relatively impossible. As for children with conditions that leave them susceptible to illness, such as children with cystic fibrosis or children who are immunocompromised, the holidays can leave them sick and fighting for their lives. And for children with food allergies, the abundance of treats available over the holidays can be deadly. This year, take matters into your own hands to make this Christmas a great one for your child with special needs.

Get Together With Other Families

Other parents of children with special needs know exactly what you are dealing with over the holidays. They too are more stressed than excited. Get in contact with them to plan the perfect holiday event for your children and other area children with special needs. No one knows your child better than you do, so you can ensure the event will be exactly what Santa ordered.

Plan Your Own Party

Have a small get-together of your closest family and friends at your home. The people who know you and your child the best are the ones who can help you celebrate without the added stress that comes with planning a party. Everyone can bring food or drinks to share and will be in full cooperation of the rules surrounding your child. Plus, if your child is prone to meltdowns, no one understands or takes it all in stride quite like your close family.

Make a Quiet Room

If you're going to a party or are having a party, make sure there is a quiet room where your child can go chill out for a bit if things get too intense. Or if anyone is sick at the event and you need to keep your child separated from that person, that quiet room can be the perfect spot to disappear to with some activities before you cut out of the party early. Be sure to pack a bag of fun activities for your child just in case.

Find a Sensory Friendly Santa

Check your local area for a sensory friendly Santa. Some communities offer this to families of children with special needs, but if there isn't one near you, consider contacting your local parks and rec department about starting up an event like it.

Celebrate Small

You don't have to have a party or attend a party for Christmas to be fun. Stay home with your family and enjoy some one on one time making ornaments or cookies, or sending holiday packages to the military. Watch a movie, have some popcorn and celebrate the holidays from the comfort of your own home.

The holidays are what you make of them. You don't have to follow the norm in order for it to be fun. Cut some stress out of your life and your child's this year by picking and choosing how you spend your time.