Special needs children do not do well with surprises, especially when it means a change in their usual routines. When life presents opportunities for fun events, planning together as a family is crucial. If a special needs child knows what to expect in advance, there's a better chance for a successful experience.
In our home, planning for events as a family takes place on a regular basis. We have it down to a science after many years of balancing the multiple special needs of our children. Today we're sharing our Special Needs Event Planner with you and giving it to you as a special subscribers only free printable.
The planner is to be used by parents to prepare for family discussions of upcoming events. It can also be used as a visual cue for children who are able to read and write, in preparation for a special occasion.
Parents and/or children fill out each box in the printable as they discuss the event in detail. Once completed the special needs child should know everything he/she needs to in order to successfully participate or decide not to attend.
Special Needs Event Planner Directions
- Fill in the first row of boxes with the name of the event, date it occurs, and it's location.
- Write in the times for when the event starts, ends, and how long it will take to get there and back. Be sure to explain if the event will take place during the day, or at night.
- Describe the event in detail, listing the activities that will take place, in order if possible. You may need to contact the host/hostess for this information.
- List food and drink options. If you know your child will refuse food offered, you can list what foods your child can bring.
- Explain how many people will be there and describe them. Will family or friends be in attendance? Are strangers going to be there? Children? Be as specific as you can.
- How loud will the event be? Is there music? Is your child expected to be quiet?
- Does the event take place indoors or will you be outside?
- Is there a theme? Perhaps it's a birthday party or holiday celebration?
- Will there be decorations? What will they look like. Can your child touch them?
- What will your child need to wear? Is the occasion casual or dressy?
- Lastly, what expectations do you have for your child during the event? How do you want them to behave? Will they be required to participate in all activities? Are they expected to socialize? Don't hesitate to be extremely specific in this section.
Over time you will notice that this event planner is not only a life saver for your child, but also for you when preparing for special family occasions. It reduces stress, anxiety, meltdowns, triggers and so much more!
How to Receive Your Copy of the Special Needs Event Planner
This free printable is the last of three that will be available to newsletter subscribers only. Don't pass up the opportunity to take advantage of this wonderful resource! Subscribe today!
This special printable is being offered in conjunction with the release of our first book. Holidays and PTSD: A Parent's Guide to Survival. Purchase Holidays and PTSD: A Parent's Guide to Survival today!
All you need to do is subscribe to our weekly newsletter. An e-mail will be sent to you to confirm your subscription. (Check your spam folder if it doesn't go directly to your inbox.) You will then receive the printable via e-mail. It's that simple.