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Youth participation
Monday 13 December 2021

Festive top tips from autistic young people

Rebecca, Robbie, Aiden, Ieuan and Lucy share their top tips for how everyone can make the festive season more inclusive for autistic people.  


“Dim the lights and have a quiet area.” Robbie  

“Explain to me what type of present I will be receiving, for example a craft kit or food.” Lucy 

“It helps to work up to the full Christmas arrangement, for example by eating together more frequently before the actual day.” Aiden 

“Don’t force autistic people, or anyone, to do something and let them have a rest or quiet time if needed.” Rebecca 

“I need access to sensory spaces if I am overstimulated.” Ieuan 

“Please don’t play loud music in public areas.” Lucy 

“Keep Christmas lights and decoration to a minimum. If this cannot happen, have at least one room (at home, school or the workplace) that doesn’t have any Christmas decorations that an autistic person can go to if they need to get away from everything.” Rebecca  

“We leave Christmas decorations up for a bit longer - after one Christmas, we even just kept up some LED lights around the house to make it easier to walk around the house in the dark!” Aiden  

“I ensure I take time for myself to recharge my energy after doing more things than usual.” Ieuan  

“In advance of Christmas parties or events either at work on in school, talk through the changes that are going to be to happening with the autistic person so they can prepare and suggest changes if necessary.” Rebecca 

“Try to limit flashing lights at home.” Lucy 

“I ask people what they want and tell them if there’s anything that I want for Christmas and have defaults to fall back on.” Aiden  

“Allow me time to adapt to my surroundings, or any increased social expectations.” Ieuan