Christmas can be very stressful for children with Autism and their parents.
I know this first hand, as my 18 year old son has Autism, and I have experienced my fair share
of a stressful Christmas. While I am not expert....I have learned a few things that I wanted to pass along.
So...what do you do? How to you make it a fun and stress free Christmas.
Well...simply put...you do what you need to do for your child. It is NOT about traditions that other's hold dear...it is not even the traditions that YOU hold dear...it is about making traditions that YOUR child will cherish.
Do the lights on the Christmas tree freak your child out?
Fine..no lights on the tree?
Does the Santa at the mall scare you child?
Fine...don't force it on your child so that YOU can have a picture for your scrapbook.
Does your child not so well in crowded noisy stores?
Fine...don't take them shopping.
Honestly, it is not rocket science people. As a parent of a special needs child, you do what you have to do...period, end of discussion.
Guess what? Collin comes first...always...every time...without exception.
So...my husband went to a lot of holiday parties without me.
We went to parties as a family, and left early.
We had a dear friend of ours dress as Santa, and come to our home, for a visit and pictures.
Shopping online keeps me and my child out of the crowded stores. Free shopping, cheaper prices, and often times better selection.
Your child does not like a hot itchy Christmas Sweater....fine...let them wear their favorite shirt. Is a battle over clothes worth it? NOPE...move on...pick your battles.
My job as Collin's mom, was to make Christmas a fun and enjoyable experience for Collin.
Was it hard? Yes. Did I have to plan ahead? Yes. But that is ok...it is my job.
Gifts for special needs children can be hard. Collin always made VERY SPECIFIC lists. If it was on his list...he expected it. Period...end of discussion. If it was not on his list...he did not want it...fine, we are all like that...BUT...it can be rather embarrassing when he tells a friend "I did not ask for this, I don't want it" You know Autistic children often lack a filter. This is not a problem now, as Collin has learned to just smile and say "Thank you" But when he was younger...well...no filter was in place. How did I work around this? Well...I spoke up...when Grandmas asked what Collin wanted, I told her, specifically what he wanted, or offered to purchase the gift for them. See...easy solution . That way Collin gets the gifts he wants...Grandma's know that the gift is welcomed and I am not embarrassed.
So...are you a parent of a special needs child? What to you do to cope during the holidays?
I saw this posted on Facebook today....and shared it on my Facebook page...I thought it was really cute, so I made a little picture using PicMonkey...feel free to share it...print it out..and give it to people who look at you all crazy like when your child acts "odd" to them.
No Autism.....No Santa....Take that!
12 REASONS WHY SANTA HAS AUTISM:
1. He lines up & names his reindeer over and over again
2. He wears the same clothes every day
3. He has an extremely limited diet of only milk and cookies
4. He gets stuck in the same routine year after year
5. He avoids social interaction & does all of his work at night when everyone else is sleeping
6. He checks his list over and over and over.....
7. He likes hanging out with people smaller than he is
8. Everything is black or white (naughty or nice) no in-between!
9. He loves squeezing into teeny spaces (chimneys!)
10. He is clueless about the social stigma of creeping into other people's houses
11. He spends an entire year preparing for one night
12. He does things that amaze people & has them wondering how in the heck he did it!