Teach your child names of guests ahead of time: Show your child pictures of relatives and friends before the party starts. Remind children if they have met the guests before and explain their relationship.
Create a schedule of events for the party: Show your child photos from last year to provide a visual reminder. Also, create a schedule that will show your child the planned order of events. He or she can even use this schedule to check events off the list after they end.
Role-play scenarios: Practice how to receive a gift, how to thank the giver and how to greet guests at the door.
Prepare relatives and guests for possibility of unusual behavior by your child: Take this precaution so guests do not misinterpret your child’s actions. You can even give an update on ways your child has improved since last year. Lastly, share topics and activities that the child would enjoy discussing with relatives and friends.
Designate a “quiet place”: With the overstimulation of people and noise, you and your child should choose a safe and quiet place to escape to if overwhelmed.
Give child a role: Help your child shine by asking him or her to assemble toys after a gift is opened, hand out gifts to each guest, cook something or photograph the event.
Bring along an activity bag: Provide quiet activities, such as coloring books and crayons, puzzles and books, to make your child feel at ease while in a large group.
Don’t forget your routine: In the midst of holiday season, make sure the normal routines remain the same. Routines are harder to re-establish after the holiday season has passed.