1. Inform Family and Friends Many times when family and friends get together, they may not really understand the individual with the disability. It might be helpful for a caregiver or guardian to send out some updates prior to get-togethers such as:

  • “Activities and topics ______ enjoys doing or discussing”
  • “Activities and topics to avoid with _____”
  • “Some things that ______ may really enjoy when we gather for Christmas”
  • “Some things that might be challenging for ______ at our Christmas celebration”
  • “Some gifts ______ might enjoy receiving”
  • “Some gifts to avoid”

2.   “Encourage gift giving” – Think of some ways that the individual could make gifts for people, or pick out inexpensive things at a Dollar Store to truly experience the joy of giving.

3.   Visual reminders.   Show the individual some pictures from previous Holiday celebrations to help prepare them for upcoming ones .

4.   Show re-decorated rooms to the individual ahead of time.  This will help them become familiar with rearrangements of furniture or other items that may come as a surprise to them and help avoid extreme reactions of confusion, fright, uneasiness, etc.

5.   Give the individual a job.  Assigning a task/job such as a greeter or passing out gifts will help them stay busy and have a sense of accomplishment with making your Holiday party a success!

Socializing and extracurricular activities are a normal part of anyone’s life – something especially important for adults with developmental disabilities.


No matter the self-sufficiency, guidance or supervision needed; recreational activities are an integral part to building strong social bonds and friendships, which, altogether, help improve an individual’s quality of life.


Getting adults with developmental disabilities involved with fun activities in new environments is a great way to stay active, socialize and further learn how to express their feelings in different spaces. The key to any extracurricular programming is tailoring these experiences to every person’s skills and abilities visit the Detox Center website.