Events like family gatherings, weddings, and holiday parties can be stressful for many kids. But for children who learn and think differently, not knowing what to expect can be especially overwhelming. One way to make things easier is to talk about the event together. This printable worksheet can help guide the conversation.
There are two choices for how to use the worksheet depending on what you and your child prefer. The first option has space for writing. You and your child can type directly into it, or print it and write by hand on the lines. The second option has enough space for you and your child to sketch or paste in some pictures.
Use the worksheet to preview the most important details about the event. Talk through what your child may be wondering about — like who will be there, what kinds of food there may be, and other expectations.
Then, use the second page to come up with a few strategies to help make the event manageable. For example, where can your child go if they feel stressed? What can your child do if they don’t like the food? Having these strategies in place ahead of time can help prevent outbursts or strong feelings at the event.
Looking for more ways to prepare for events?
About the author
About the author
Gretchen Vierstra, MA is the managing editor at Understood and co-host of the “In It” podcast. She’s a former educator with experience teaching and designing programs in schools, organizations, and online learning spaces.
Andrew Kahn, PsyD is a licensed psychologist who focuses on ADHD, learning differences, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, behavior challenges, executive function, and emotional regulation.