Surviving the holidays and thriving on the positive

The holiday season is upon us. It is a time to celebrate, be thankful and cherish your loved ones on the autism spectrum. Seems relatively simple to those on the outside looking in, however, this is as unrealistic thinking to us living in the autism’s unpredictable turbulent land.

People on the typical side only see the bright eyed bushy tailed fantastic holiday celebration that the holiday season brings. They do not see it through our children’s eyes. Nor do they realize the total disruption of what the holiday season brings.

I myself and I am sure others, have tried on numbers of failed occassions, to fit in with the family on those so called special events during the holidays. Having attempted this numerous times, I feel safe saying what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander.

Just because the neurotypicals want what other families want, does not mean that is what is best for your child. Our children love certain aspects about the holidays as much as the typical kids do, but there is a limit to what can be tolerated. YOU as a parent must stand up for what is BEST for your child. I have had countless holidays ruined trying to make everyone else happy but our family.

If people want to enjoy the holidays their way let them do it at their own free will. Do not allow guilt trips to bring your familiy’s level of happiness down. Enjoy the things your children love. Make a special holiday tradition at your own home and let a few close family members join you. In the long run, it is your family that will suffer and pay the price of running all over the land trying to make everyone else happy but your children.

If your extended family is not the picture of functional and you have other special loved ones, embrace what you have and share it with them. Don’t dwell on the negative in folks that will never adjust to the atypical lives we live. If you have only friends with children with ASD plan a special meeting/playdate and decorate or play games or sing or whatever you all enjoy. Sharing the holiday cheer doesn’t mean it has to be with any certain group at all, you may be happiest at home with your children and spouse and that’s your choice. Celebrate each other, health, food, warmth, a roof over your heads and just live life and the holidays in a manner that causes the least amount of stress and most fun for you all to remember.

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