Tips for Hosting a Special Needs Guest at Thanksgiving

Table set up for celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to celebrate family and togetherness, and creating a party that is inclusive to everyone does not have to be a challenge. Here is some advice on how to be inclusive and have fun during this holiday season!

1. Asking Each Individual's Needs

By asking what everyone in the party would need as far as special requests and accommodations go, not only are you ensuring that you are paying attention to those with special needs and their requirements to have a good time, but you also aren't making anyone feel put on the spot.

No one likes to feel like an inconvenience. By helping people see that everyone is being asked what they need, everyone will feel more included!

2. Meals to Make for a Special Needs Thanksgiving

When preparing your meals, make sure to keep a detailed record of the ingredients you are putting in each dish. This is important both for individuals' food allergies but also who have aversions to certain foods and avoid the dishes that might affect someone negatively. Food sensitivities are important to keep track of to keep the party going strong.

A good rule of thumb is to ask the people arriving what they might like to eat before the event to make sure everyone likes the options!

3. Discuss Mobility Issues Prior to the Event

If you know that someone in your party uses a wheelchair or other form of mobility device, it's important to discuss seating arrangements and furniture placement before the event to make sure your home is accessible.

Have a seat open and available for guests, and make sure there is a bathroom with easy access. By being conscious of several needs, you will be able to give everyone an easier time navigating the home. 

4. Communicate Openly

Whether you're passing food or discussing events, make sure to always communicate what's happening to keep the gathering inclusive. Knowing what's going on around you is the key to having a good time, after all!

5. Avoid Discussing Medical Issues

When making conversation, keep things light- if the person involved in the story wants to discuss it, then it's ok to talk about, but otherwise, keep medical discussions out of the event.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Now that you're better prepared to throw a special needs Thanksgiving, we hope you feel all set to have a fun and inclusive Thanksgiving this year!

 

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