There is not one part of the spectrum that is easier or harder than the other.
We all know there are good and bad days; days where we think that we can’t possibly do any more, tell them one more time to do something or cry any more tears.
Holidays throw us all out of kilter, adults struggle with the change of pace and demand of Christmas so there’s no hope for those people who live for routine.
So the turkey is bought; the plans are made, the presents are open and the wobbly chair in place at the table - it's finally time to sit down for the feast of feasts.
“Errmmm mum, what is that?”
I don’t like sprouts
I don’t like turkey
I don’t like Gravy
I don’t like potatoes
I don’t like...I don’t LIKE...I DONT LIKE!!!!
Then he asks “Can I have Macdonalds!”...now if it was open, yes I would be fully prepared to give him this meal on this day!
Cue the gasps...
But hold on a minute, what frazzled parent wouldn’t give their child the meal they love on a day of giving and peace to avoid a meltdown.
Obviously its not open and luckily my son has got much better with food – so although he has a can of full fat coke and sat on the sofa watching YouTube, he is doing so calmly and quietly with turkey (which he thinks is chicken) and oven chips.Like as any ASD mama knows, the key is compromise and fire fighting so to speak.
I choose my battles and my son copes very well, he is disciplined and he has learnt a lot over the last two years.
The biggest thing I did for us as a family was stop pushing him to do things when I wanted them done, or when others would expect him to conform in a particular way.
Christmas is a time of joy for all, ok so he doesn’t want to participate in family games, sit at the table or eat a traditional meal.
Who am I to force that upon him though, that’s what makes him unique and makes him who he is – it’s part of his condition.
After three years of me battling with him trying to have a perfect Christmas Eve evening of the Snowman film and treats, which he would lose interest in within 10 minutes and just want to go and watch “Minecraft” or “Top 10 kitchen gadgets” videos on YouTube – he finally said to me recently:
“I can’t wait for the day before Christmas mum, you get that video of the Snowman and that dog don’t you and we sit and watch it on the sofa with chocolates.”
So it took three Christmases – so what!
He learnt, he remembered and it’s something that he actually WANTS to do.
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