I love Christmas. The food, the decorations, the general cheer.
Everything about Christmas I just love.
The only thing about that is slightly hard about Christmas is that my son has autism and so all the crowds, all the decorations, all the change of routines can be so hard for him.
I want him to make memories with his siblings and make Christmas special for them as well. So we have slightly different traditions and ways of doing Christmas.
Since knowing that the sparkly decorations cause him sensory overload we have changed the decorations and they are all cloth, felt or knitted.
We have realised that the magic of Christmas when it comes to the elves and Santa is lost on him. He is not fooled. He knows that Santa doesn’t exist he knows that the Elf doesn’t really come to life at night, that it is us.
We also know that Christmas dinner, isn’t something he can really handle, and so this year we have decided to do dinner slightly different so that he can eat the food he likes and feels safe with while being in the safety of his own home rather than going over to relatives houses.
We also know that doing ‘normal’ things aren’t as simple because of my son’s autism.
The school had a Christmas Fair the other day, and it was so busy, it was so crowded and yet as my son was so excited we thought he would cope.
He wore his ear defenders and he stayed close to me. Always slightly nudging me as if to feel that I am there, almost treating me as a safety blanket.
He rocked, he counted, he flapped his arms but he gradually calmed down and was ready to face the crowds and go home. A simple Christmas Fair that I used to love doing as a child, can cause so much un-comfort to my son.
A Christmas Fair that the other children all adore, causes my son to get such overwhelming anxiety.
Even going to see Santa that most children love to do is hard work. We have researched Santa’s for hours and have looked at the reviews and seen how the day works countless times.
We have now found that train Santa’s are the best for our son. You sit in your seat and the Santa comes to your booth. No queuing, no lining up near excited children, no crowds. Just an initial queue while you await your slot and then into your seats.
Slowly we are making such a huge event in the year a more comfortable time for my son, if I can give him a day where he is comfortable, then I have done what I set out to do.
I hope that by slightly changing our Christmas traditions we can make Christmas a time of joy for not only my son but also my other children.
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