As many families prepare for the Jewish High Holidays, it is important to consider ways to help your child with special needs have the best experience during the festivities. Milestones co-founders and parents Ilana Hoffer Skoff and Mia Buchwald Gelles are prepping for this hectic time of year themselves, and put together a quick list of tips to help you as you get ready for the upcoming holidays.
Familiarize your child with the holiday traditions – Specific music, phrases and foods help define each holiday. Begin introducing these to your child ahead of time so they become familiar with what to expect. Consider using one of the many recordings, YouTube videos, or wonderful children’s books about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot to preview the holiday celebration. For example, if your child is sensitive to loud noises, prepare your child by listening to a video of the shofar (ram’s horn) in advance. The whole month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, synagogues around the community are blowing shofar at the end of their morning service and this is a nice opportunity for them to hear the shofar, in a much smaller setting, and be prepared for it.
Continue reading →