Surviving Christmas with Sarah-Jane Critchley

With 8 weeks to go and preparations underway for Christmas, now’s the time to highlight the challenges Christmas can bring for families, especially for children with SEND.

Children return to school in September to a new term, new environment, new subjects, new friends and coping with everything causes their energy levels to decrease. After half term it’s Halloween, Bonfire Night and then before we know it we’re in the Christmas period. By then children have the least possible capacity to deal with it. Everything changes at Christmas, and that can send some of our young people into a complete tailspin!

Sarah-Jane Critchley joins Dale in this week’s episode ‘Surviving Christmas’ to discuss why Christmas isn’t always fun for everyone and how to support children with SEND through Christmas.

Listen to find out what we can all do at school and at home to make it more fun and less stressful for everyone! Sarah-Jane gives us some tangible ideas and some useful tools that you can use to make the season as joyful as we can for everyone.

Useful Links

Learn from many autistic people at the NAS Christmas Grotto Christmas Grotto (

Relaxed performances of pantos in many places this year e.g.

Instagram: sarahjanecritchley

Sarah-jane Critchley

About Sarah-Jane Critchley

Sarah-Jane is an Author, Speaker, Consultant and Coach from Different Joy Partnership. She was previously the Programme Manager for over 10 years at the Autism Education Trust. Pupils with autism often struggle with attending school for a number of reasons. Her daughter Beth is autistic and also suffers from migraines which meant from Year 3 onwards she missed a lot of school and missed over 50% of her GCSE classes, eventually dropping out of school in year 12.

Contact Sarah-Jane

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