Review by Kathy Kuhl

Ebook from CarolBarnier.com. 37 pages. $4.95.

Carol has written a clear, funny, and helpful workbook to make the holidays less stressful for your child and for you. In thirty-seven pages, she explains why social parts of the holidays are so difficult for our children, and offers practical activities to ease the way. The book would help many families, especially those with children with sensory issues, attention problems, children on the high end of the autism spectrum, and other kids in need of social coaching.

Starting with a short explanation of why she calls distractible children Sizzlers, Carol then explains why holidays can be so hard for some special children–though they can be instruments of chaos, they crave and need routine–and reminds us why it’s worth working on the problem. She then moves through seven activities (one for you, six for you with your child) to help them understand and rehearse what’s ahead at Aunt Kathy’s or Grandma’s. She gives special thought to helping a child learn how to take turns with the cousins, and what to do if they don’t want to play Uno any more, when your child does.

I appreciate Carol’s effort to make these activities entertaining for the child, not “Oh, no, Mom’s got an etiquette book out!” These practical strategies and insights are given with Carol’s usual compassion, clarity, and good humor. The e-book concludes with a wise and amusing “ABC’s of Holidays with Sizzlers,” and colorful badges and a certificate to award your child for completing this holiday training.

It’s a bargain at $4.95. Visit Carol’s website to get your copy, and sign up for her Sizzle Life newsletter while you’re there.