Christmas time, a season of roasted chestnuts as you walk down the high street, a season of flashing fairy lights in the shop windows, a season of loud singing and Christmas songs blaring from the radio.
My son cannot handle the loud songs, he can’t handle the crowds that happen when you go anywhere near a shop.
My son can’t handle the lights and the sparkling displays. Our home at Christmas has to be carefully decorated.
The decorations are all made from material, there are no sparkly tinsel boas in sight, there are fairy lights on the tree however these do not flash, they are just on solidly, and in fact 90% of the time they aren’t even on.
School is out of routine as he rehearses for the school Christmas play, the classroom is changed to accommodate a Christmas tree.
At home things start to change slowly, the shows on TV start to change to be more festive, the routine starts to change at the weekend as we start to visit Santa grottos, that have been carefully selected, ones where the queues are minimal and we can book a time slot so that the crowds aren’t too much.
Ones where the music is not blaring out as you walk around to see the big man.
Christmas day is hard in itself, Christmas presents given just because it’s Christmas, breakfast is at a slightly different time, the whole family comes round to see us on one day, and dinner isn’t food we eat generally.
Just the thought of the new toys and trying to find the perfect place for them in his room fills me with dread as this causes real issues.
The emotions around Christmas are hard enough for children without autism to handle. The excitement of the whole day.
Sometimes the disappointment as you realise the present you had your heart set on hasn’t been unwrapped. So I can only imagine what my son is feeling.
We have already started to warn him that the bedtime routine may not be exactly what he wants.
We will of course try to stick to his timetable and routine, however with 3 other children this may not go to plan.
I know that actually my son although is so excited about Christmas deep down he is worried and anxious about all the changes.
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