Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Celebrating The Holidays With Autism

The preconceived notions about what it would be like to parent this child of mine, and the reality we live, are sometimes so far apart it is mind boggling. I had no idea the kinds of challenges we would face, or the immense joys we would experience. I had no idea that my son would lead me into a community of some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

When I started blogging, I never imagined more than a few dozen people would read what I wrote. I never imagined that I would hear back from hundreds of people and get to share in their joys and frustrations. Life with autism is interesting. Especially, this time of year. 

You might recognize some of these scenarios, as I borrowed many of them from you. Many of these we have experienced right here at the Smith house too. 

Decking the halls can be a bit challenging for some of us.

What can be more fun than Christmas shopping? Actually, almost anything. 

And when you are out shopping, you might have the pleasure of running into a Santa!

But no worries, if you do not see Santa, there's always writing to him! We actually have Tate's letter to Santa on the kitchen table right now, ready to mail. Tate told Santa that he NEEDS a lego set that hasn't been made in years. Of course I found it on eBay for four times what it would have cost me originally. But Santa really needs to deliver. 

One year I helped a friend find elevator parts for her son with autism. Elevator Parts. They are his passion. If you think about it, most of us get useless gifts for Christmas. Why should people with autism be any different? People with autism can be hard to shop for sometimes, but they often have no trouble telling us what they really want.

Visiting in our home can take a toll on a person's self-esteem. 

Christmas Dinner. We have the same menu most years. So does my son Tate. Dinner Rolls. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I've heard from so many from the autism community that wish for less "advice" during family get togethers. People mean well. Most of them anyway.

Let me finish with one straight from our home. Tate is the tradition enforcer. Sometimes we did not even know we had started some of them, as with many of the other precedents we have accidentally set. Who knew that The Grinch is a Monday movie and Rudolph is only watched on Tuesdays? 

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  1. I just showed my husband the one about Tate only eating dinner rolls on Christmas, he said "I don't get it" and I said I know. He just cannot grasp Marky's autism. Thanks so much, enjoyed this post and have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. Since our Lilly is non-verbal we rely on taking her to stores (a mine field this time of year) and scrolling through items online (if she will even look) to see what she shows any interest at all in. It really is a huge guessing game. She litereally showed no interest in her big "Santa gift" from last year until about a month ago. It sat, ignored, in her closet for over 10 months, then BOOM, she loves it. This is not the first time this has happened so we buy a bunch of items and she will open them all, show little or no interest in 90% of them, so we will put them in her closet and any that are still ignored by Dec of next year we will donate to Toys for Tots and start the process over.

  3. Have you been secretly filming my family? The list this year came in the form of pictures in 6 separate emails. Does anyone know now much vintage Transformers cost on eBay these days? Too much!

    1. There have been some reissues of the vintage transformers. Exact same box as in the 80s and everything. Still pricey but more reasonable than the originals. Wal-Mart had exclusive ones etc. Hope that helps your wallet a little. Just search transformers G1 reissue.

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  4. Hi. I was wondering if I may ask a few questions please? Preferably through email? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!
    - Virgil