Plan specific talking goals and prepare your child ahead of time. Practice with your child at home so they are confident in what they will say. Consider who, what, when, and where. Goals will look different depending on your child’s current treatment goals.
If you are going to a large event, or even a smaller family gathering, consider the environment and set your child up for success. Can you get there early to get more comfortable with the space and practice talking? Can you set up a 1:1 conversation with a family member? Can you direct family members to ask pre-planned questions that you know your child can answer/has planned for? If games are more comfortable, can you bring a familiar game and support your child to get started? Set one or two talking goals and then be sure to plan breaks so that your child can enjoy the gathering too.
Consider talking to family members ahead of time so they understand your child and how best to support them at this time.
Praise your child for brave behaviour and consider a reward plan ahead of time!
Remember the 4 Ps!