I shall start this post with an apology. It may come across like a moan, like I hate Christmas. I truly do not.
I love Christmas, I love everything about it. I love decorating the house, I love the lights in all the windows. I even love the cooking and baking that goes in to Christmas day! I make a Christmas Cake every year, even though I don't actually like it! I make a Chocolate log, because the boys love it. My husband and I love doing the Christmas roast together. I enjoy it all.
When you read on, remember that.
Because, you see, having children who's needs are a little different means my Christmas has to be. I am a firm believer that I should not try to change my children, I should change the situation. There are things that I miss out on because of this.
I don't hate Christmas, but at Christmas........I hate Autism.
My son is not Autism, he is my son, my baby boy. Autism is what he has. It means that he struggles with the things you and I class as 'tradition'. Yesterday he went to a Panto with my husband, it was supposed to be me, but my house has been afflicted with a lovely sickness bug. It is a good job really, as I cannot carry my son any longer, he is almost 6 now, and getting quite tall. He would not go in initially, it was too loud. Then my hubby managed to carry him in, just as flashing lights etc were going off! So straight back out he went.
He did eventually enjoy the show, but by running back and forth at the back of the auditorium (stimming), with my hubby sat on the side watching him. He came home and spent most of the night hiding under a blanket, with an iPad. He'd had enough 'social' time.
This reaction is the same for everything. I wanted to go to the Winter Wonderland in Cardiff, but I can't. I've been to the city without him, and there is no way he could cope with that many people and that much noise.
I avoid Christmas parties, we did manage a little birthday party on the weekend. It was a family party and, as there are other children with Autism in the family, it went well. It wasn't too noisy or dark, there weren't too many children. However, when a full sized Mickey and Minnie Mouse walked in, he dived to our table, and didn't leave again. Then he wanted to leave. So what's the point?
Then there is the actual day. I can't buy too much, it will end up being too overwhelming, and not just for little A, RJ struggles with it. If the presents are not right, I will be told. I will never forget the year RJ told me that Santa didn't know him very well! (After I had been very careful to buy from his Christmas list). That Christmas has scarred me for life. And gawd help us if a toy is doubled up by someone else, because they will say, quite abruptly, no awareness that offence may be caused.
I read all the status' on facebook etc, about how people have so much going on, how much fun their children are having. My children are having fun........just the same as every other day.
I however, want to have fun. I want to go ice skating. I want to go to Panto's and Christmas parties.
But I won't, because I can change.......
MY BOYS CAN'T
x OJO x