A Guide to Autism Friendly Christmas Music
When we think of Christmas, we think of lots of things – snow, decorations, the smells, the lights, the food and the music. Music enables us to connect to events, memories, our feelings and one another. It can bring joy and help us to unwind and relax. From an early age, we are taught Christmas songs and they come with us into our adulthood, here to stay as part of our annual Christmas experience, one way or another. But what kind of music is best for autism? Is there autism-friendly Christmas music? In this blog, SpecialKids Company will explore this, providing you with a guide to autism-friendly Christmas music.
Can different types of music cause sensory overload?
Of course, the music that your child might enjoy at Christmas very much depends on their mood and their sensory needs. Some children have auditory sensitivity and can be hypersensitive to certain sounds, which can be distressing. These children might prefer quiet, relaxing music. Some children are completely the opposite to this and like loud, bashful noise and will enjoy all the jolly singsongs that Christmas has to offer.
Sensory Friendly Christmas Playlists
Relaxing, Sensory Christmas Songs
If your child prefers quieter, relaxing songs, you might find that instrumental or classical music is a good option for them. If you search ‘soft Christmas music’ on YouTube, there are plenty of ready-made playlists for you to explore. Similarly, nursery-style, instrumental music can be lovely and relaxing to listen to. This kind of music can be great for autistic children if they are feeling anxious. You could try putting some on at a low volume in a quiet space that they feel comfortable in.
Multi-Sensory Christmas Songs
Multi-sensory songs are a great way of interacting with your child and making a real sensory experience of the music for them. Using a range of sensory stimuli and props, you can bring the music to life and enhance the experience of music for your child. For example, for Jingle Bells, you could use bells, some cotton wool for snow, some plastic cups for the sound of reindeer clip-clopping, some fairy lights and perhaps a Santa sack with some boxes or a Santa hat. There are lots of different ideas for multi-sensory stories available online.
Songs You Can Move to and Play Instruments With
Lots of Christmas songs are repetitive and have a good beat, which makes it easier to learn to sing and find the rhythm of. There are some great songs, like ‘When Santa got stuck up the chimney’, that you can sing along to, tap to the rhythm and find the actions online.
Makaton and Christmas Music
Similarly, there are lots of Christmas songs with the Makaton available online to sign along to. This can help your child to develop their communication skills and understand the music. ‘Singing Hands’ have a Christmas playlist online, which is a fantastic