It’s already the month of December which means that Christmas is just around the corner! Each year during this festive season, many malls and buildings would start decking out their spaces in Christmas decorations and have a variety of fun activities for the whole family!
We at EAP have hand-picked some exciting Christmas events happening around the Klang Valley this year that you and your family may enjoy visiting. We also provide you with some tips and strategies to better prepare your child with autism for visits to these events so that they, too, can have a successful, meaningful Christmas with the family!
Christmas Events in the Klang Valley
1) Pavilion KL’s Disney-Themed Christmas Decorations
The Pavilion KL never fails to dazzle every year with their highly-anticipated Christmas decorations. This year, besides celebrating the season, their decorations mark the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, featuring a 1000-Mickey figurine Christmas tree and a 20ft Mickey Sculpture!
Outdoor, the fun continues with the Disney Frozen Snow Globe located next to the crystal fountain for a photo opportunity with the characters from the hit movie.
Inside the mall at Centre Court (Level 2), there is also the Pavilion Dream Express where your child can embark on a journey to achieve their Christmas dreams! Last but not least, there will also be snow every night until Christmas Day at the mall’s main entrance.
Location: Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang Street
Click HERE for more info.
2) SJIIM HS Christmas Concert
If you’re looking for something a little more musical, St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia High School is putting on a night of music and drama, featuring an orchestra, choir, concert band, duets and soloists.
Date: 12 December 2018 (4.15pm - 5.30pm)
Location: St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia
Click HERE for more info!
3) A Christmas Carol at The Story Book
Your child could listen to the story of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ during a storytelling session. Other activities include a gift exchange, and song performance by the Gloria Musical School fo Music.
Date: 22 December 2018 (8.00-9.30pm)
Location: The Story Book, E-1-13 Plaza Arkadia, Desa Parkcity
Check out their PAGE for more info!
4) Winter Wonderland at Legoland Malaysia Resort
Legoland Malaysia is situated in the state of Johor, which is an approximate 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. However if your child is a fan of Lego, then it may be worth visiting this place!
There are lots of fun activities such as an icy igloo, meet-and-greet with santa, building your own Lego Candy Cane in Gingerbread cottages, and so much more!
You can find out more information on their website by clicking HERE.
Preparing your child with autism for Christmas events
While Christmas events are exciting, they can also feel unpredictable and anxiety-inducing for children with autism. Here are some tips and strategies to help you prepare your child for a successful visit to these events:
1. If possible, do visit the venue/location first
This allows you to take pictures and videos of what the event is going to look like to help prepare your child for what they will see and what will likely happen when they visit the place. If not, you can always search the internet for photos and videos of the place.
2. Prepare a social story or videos of the location
Children with autism may have sensitivities and/or tolerance issues to various aspects. It would be important to think about what your child may find difficult during the event, such as:
- Bright lights
- Loud sounds
3. Plan to go during off-peak hours or weekdays instead of weekends
This is particularly applicable to shopping malls, where crowds may be at their peak on weekends, which can be quite overwhelming for a child with autism. We would suggest taking your child with autism to visit the place during off-peak hours in order to keep your child successful.
4. Prepare a social story and visual schedule
Social stories and visual schedules are a great way to communicate to our kiddos what will happen at each step, and what is expected of them.
5. Have a back-up plan
If your child does find the experience overwhelming, have a back-up plan of where you could go:
- A nearby place that is less crowded and quiet (e.g. toilets, parents room)
- A child-friendly area (such as children’s play areas in shopping malls)
- For indoor events, you might position yourself nearer the exit in case your child needs to step out to help them calm down
- Bring along objects that help calm your child (teethers, squeeze balls, preferred toy item)
You may also refer to our previous blog articles for more ideas, tips and strategies!
- Preparing Your Child With Autism For Christmas
- How To Involve Your Child with Autism in Christmas - Part 1
- How To Involve Your Child with Autism in Christmas - Part 2
We at EAP believe that kiddos with autism should get the same opportunity as other kids to have meaningful experiences with their loved ones. With the right amount of preparation, this is definitely possible! Wishing you a Happy Christmas from us here at EAP!