Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Child with Autism

parents holding children

Every year, Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world as a special day of love and appreciation. For families with children who have autism, this can be an especially meaningful opportunity to show your child some extra love and attention. Here are some tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day in a way that will be enjoyable and meaningful for both parents and their children with autism. 

Talk to Your Child About the Holiday

Before Valentine’s Day, make sure to talk to your child about the upcoming holiday, especially

if you plan on celebrating. It is important that they know what to expect. A good way to start is by explaining what Valentine’s Day is and what it means. Use this as an opportunity to discuss love, friendship, and kindness. Then, explain the activities you plan to do on Valentine’s Day and the special people that will be involved. Try to get them involved in the planning or in picking out gifts for family or friends. 

Create Meaningful Traditions Together

Creating a special tradition that you do together on Valentine’s Day can be a great way to make the day extra special for your child with autism. This could involve anything from going out for ice cream or hot chocolate to watching their favorite movie or visiting the zoo. You could also take some time to talk about what love means to you as a family or exchange heartfelt cards or gifts. Whatever you choose, making sure it is something your child enjoys and looks forward to each year can help create lasting memories of togetherness.

kids doing valentine's day crafts

Make Sensory-Friendly Activities

When planning activities for the day, it’s important to think about how to make them sensory-friendly, so they are more enjoyable for your child. For example, if you plan on going out to eat at a restaurant, look into quieter places that have less noise and fewer distractions, like dim lighting and no background music. If your child enjoys playing games or sports, consider engaging in one of these activities together instead of going out somewhere crowded. Finally, if you plan on exchanging gifts or cards, stick to items such as clothes or toys that your child already enjoys—this helps reduce any uncertainty they may feel when receiving something new.

Show Appreciation Throughout the Year

Finally, while celebrating Valentine’s Day is always special and meaningful, it is important not to forget to show appreciation all year round. Little acts of kindness throughout the year—like baking cookies together or having an impromptu dance party—can go a long way in helping your child feel loved and appreciated every day! Making sure your child knows how important they are to you and how much love you have for them is one of the best gifts you can give.

parents kissing their child

Valentine’s Day is an excellent opportunity for parents of children with autism to express their love in unique ways according to their needs and interests. Whether it’s creating meaningful traditions together or making sensory-friendly activities part of the celebration, there are plenty of ways to show appreciation throughout the day (and all year). Taking time out of our busy lives to connect with our children on this special day can create memories that last far beyond February 14th!

Valentine’s Day Activities to Try With Your Child:




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