RESET FOR RAMADAN Fasting for ASD Children during Ramadan

The introduction of a new routine in itself followed by the return to a regular schedule can be confusing to children on the spectrum. Ramadan in such a household can also be a time to dial down on expectations about your teenager, being open instead to discovering the process of fasting through his/her eyes.

During our work with families, these are some of the guidelines we recommend, with ample room for flexibility:

  • Use social stories to familiarize your son or daughter with concepts such as suhoor, sawm and iftar. YouTube videos or cartoons are also highly recommended.
    Have a family member be the co-regulator for your child during this time and be prepared to face any meltdowns or difficulties that may surface.
  • Keep track of the clock from suhoor to iftar with your child so that he/he sees it as a family activity. Involve other family members too. Have your son/daughter mark each day of Ramadan on a calendar and do a countdown to Eid.
  • Stay flexible! If there is excessive discomfort, break the fast into smaller segments during the course of the day, keeping the last one up till maghrib.
    Discuss the food options available for each time. If there are new flavors involved, create samples so that he/she knows what to expect and there is no sensory overwhelm.
  • Make food he/she is fond of for suhoor or iftar to create excitement, using it as a time to appreciate your child’s efforts for the fast each day.

Implement it like small nuggets of information so that there is openness to knowing what Ramadan is all about. Got more doubts? Call us on: 5686339/052-1299360

About Author
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Bahij Khouzami

M.Ed., BCBA, IBA | Founder

Bahij Khouzami is an expert in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) specializing in Autism. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and an International Behavior Analyst (IBA), Bahij is also a Professional Advisory Board Member of IBAO.
With a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, specializing in Autism from Cambridge College in Massachusetts, USA, Bahij has provided ABA services for schools, homes and clinics across Massachusetts, USA.
Highly skilled, Bahij has worked with multidisciplinary teams in clinical, home, nursery and school settings during his career in the United States and now in Dubai.
A passionate teacher, Bahij trains therapists, educators and parents. Through AIS, Bahij remains committed to making a positive impact in the lives of individuals with Autism.

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