It's the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be one of the most demanding. Visiting relatives, family trips out or going to parties can all mean changes in routine that can be difficult to cope with.

So a backpack or bag containing snacks, distractions and favourite things can be a godsend for neurodiverse adults and children. Here are Family Development Manager Kerrie Highcock's top tips for putting together an on-the-go kit.

"The first thing to think about is what your child likes. Make it very bespoke and specific to them," she says.

  1. Is there anything particular your child is really motivated by? Do they collect something, or have a favourite character? Include that.
  2. Ear defenders are useful for many people, if they have hyper-sensitivity to noise or enjoy the calming effect of the pressure.
  3. Visual timers like egg timers are good for transitions and showing how long an outing or event will last.
  4. Fidget toys are excellent distractions from something that might be distressing a child.
  5. Bubbles! They can be mesmerising and calming.
  6. Pack a favourite snack, juice or a water bottle.
  7. Electronic devices like a tablet or laptop are great - just don't forget a charger or spare batteries.
  8. You can pack it all in a backpack, a drawstring bag or whatever is to hand. Think about a favourite fabric or TV or film character.

"Give yourself a break on this. If you have to dash out at the last minute on a visit, it's OK to give your child an electronic device or their safe item. It's important for them."

Find out more from our Festive Resources