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It’s “Snow” Joke: Snow Day Strategies for Families with ASD

Snow day in the city

For most parents, a snow day may result in only minor inconveniences – having to take off work unexpectedly or finding emergency childcare. Others seize the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy breakfast with their children.  The kids, of course, delight in having a school-free day spent playing games, watching TV, sledding, engaging in snowball fights, building snowmen – and drinking hot chocolate!  For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parents, however, a snow day represents break in routine, and can bring about undue levels of stress and anxiety.

With cold winter months and forecasts of snowfall upon most of the Northeast and elsewhere, The Linden Grove School in Cincinnati, OH, offers valuable advance planning tips and strategies for helping families and children minimize the potential angst associated with a snow day, transforming it instead into enjoyable family fun time. 

Talk about the possibility of a snow day before it happens

Explain that the snow can make it difficult for students and teachers to get to school (using pictures if necessary)

Discuss the fun activities that can be done instead of going to school

Prepare a snow day “stay at home” box

Fill the box with movies, books, games or other items available only when your child must stay at home

Go outside and play in the snow

Make a snowman, snowballs or snow angels

Sledding can help with balance and coordination

Bring the snow inside

Fill a large plastic container with snow and bring it inside; children can use sand toys, plastic trucks or animals to enjoy the snow before it melts.

Although a change in routine can be unsettling, with care and thoughtful planning, the only thing going downhill should be your child’s sled.

Source: Linden Grove School

Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

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