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Manage and Enjoy Your Autistic Child's Birthday

Planning a kid's birthday party is challenging, but planning a birthday party for a group of autistic children can prove even more so. 

In an effort to make the planning process as simple as possible and the party as successful as it can be, follow these tips to get the most out of a birthday party for a child with autism.

Schedule the Party Time

Many parents find that their autistic child exhibits more sensitive behavior at certain times of the day. Observe your child's typical behavior pattern and then schedule the birthday celebration that works best with your child's normal routine.

Prepare Your Child

One of the most important things to do before the party is speak to your child. Explain the importance of the day to them and why you want to celebrate their birth. Try to include them in the party planning by incorporating some DIY party ideas into the process and have them help you craft.

Guest List

You may want to include your child's friends at his or her party, but it's sometimes best to keep it in the family or amongst a smaller group of people they are familiar with and who understand the disorder. This will make them more comfortable and less likely to feel overwhelmed.


The best spot for your child's party if they are young is in the home as it's an environment they know and feel safe in. With older children you can also consider one of these local destinations that put more emphasis on individual interaction with their environment versus group activities.

Set the Mood

Help your child adjust to the party atmosphere by playing his favorite music in the background. Many autistic children are sensitive to sounds and will respond more calmly to those that help them relax.

Play a Game

Incorporate activities they like and are familiar with. Autistic children often enjoy the sense of touch in a way others cannot appreciate. If its possible, finger or sponge painting is an activity sure to entertain. Just make sure there is a station set up ahead of time and that your child likes the paint. If you're looking for something a bit simpler, try blowing bubbles of all shapes and sizes.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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