Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas is coming

There's no hiding now it's December tomorrow, the trees are already popping up in windows on our road, the shops look like the elves have gone to town and the "good food" is in the shops.

 For some though Christmas can be really stressful. Logan's teacher noted in his recent parents evening that he was showing his first signs (since settling in to main-stream reception) of discomfort with all the routine changes that Christmas brings. Rehearsals for school performances when you should be doing phonics can cause real confusion, especially for a child.

Thankfully Logan is adaptable, as long as he knows what is expected and what is happening next, also he is lucky that his teacher is very understanding having her own grown up autistic son. He loves Christmas, the tree, the presents, the mince pies...he's really not a fan of Santa and never has been but I think that's just good sense!

Bella is a different kettle of fish, she is massively more affected by her autism diagnosis than her brother.  Language is limited and probably at the functional level of an infant...albeit an infant that asks for "chocolate chip brioche rolls" rather than "cake." What can I say?  She's complex.  Although her autism is much more 'visible' it is usually Logan who reacts to changes rather than Bella. Christmas for the most part passes her by, she shows no interest in decorating the tree or listening to Christmas stories, she has never unwrapped a present or left a mince pie out for Santa.  It is just a thing that happens around her, she likes the lights, she likes to take my ornaments off the tree and line them up and she loves to sing Jingles Bells perennially.

Sometimes the season can overwhelm even the best of us, trying to make it more magical than last year, trying to make it magical at all to a child like Bella who would rather eat Nutella on toast and watch YouTube than join in with any kind of festivities.

Remember to take time out, go for a walk, clear a space in the house that is Christmas free, do normal stuff. A magical Christmas isn't the be all and end all, a happy family is much more important. Do Christmas your way.
Logan in The A Team Hoody

Give them nuggets for Christmas Dinner
Let them watch their iPad
Don't force them to talk to relatives "because they are supposed to."

Have fun, do it your way, for your family, we sure will be!

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