Holidays can be both the best of times and the worst of times for autistic individuals and their families. Changes in routine, increased social demands, crowds and gatherings, new activities, sensory overloaded events, unfamiliar foods and other out-of-the-ordinary experiences can all present challenges.

The best way to prepare for them is to plan. The following resources and stories, developed with autistic adults, families of autistic individuals, healthcare providers and other service professionals including members of our Autism Response Team, are a good place to start.


Happy Halloween: Making the holiday fun for everyone

Tricks to get treats: Autism- and budget-friendly Halloween costume ideas


Thanksgiving dinner

Tips for creating an autism-friendly Thanksgiving: Expert advice from a self-advocate and a behavioral expert

Adjusting our family's Thanksgiving traditions for my son with autism

Thanksgiving for our family is so much more than just the food

Winter Holidays

Home for the holidays: Helping family members with autism have a happy holiday break

Autism-friendly holidays: How to make sure all is calm and all is bright

Home for the holidays: Ways to make sure your autistic child enjoys their break

How to make the holidays more meaningful for yourself and your autistic loved ones: Expert advice from an autistic advocate and her community

Leaning into autism: Adapt the holiday season to fit your needs

Santa Cares: Autism-friendly Santa events by Cherry Hill Programs and Autism Speaks

Tips for autistic people to make the holidays happy: Advice from an autistic self-advocate


Autism Safety Kit

Holiday Safety Plan: Preventing meltdowns, wanderings and accidents


Personalized Teaching Stories (for holidays and other special occassions)

Traveling with Autism

Travel & autism: Five tips for success with toilet issues while on the road