Christmas is coming

Now over the years I have got to hate Christmas, as for my son, the changes that this holiday gave were too much for him. I hated the bright lights, loud music, and massive change of routine. My son would have so many melt downs and it got to a place where I not only dreaded the season, but was angry at so many people who just didn’t get what we would go through. At home the tree was a focus of his upset, decorations were torn down as fast as I put them up.
Once while I was moaning to his psychologist about how upset he was over the Christmas holiday. She told me to take off half the tree decorations, stop any flashing lights, stick to his routine (such as it was!) and tell her how that went. I felt I had been pushed aside, no real help give. Still I did what she had said, I took down half the tree’s decorations. I only put the lights on a soft glow for a short while each night. Took down most the rooms decorations and all the shiny ones. I kind of hoped she would be wrong, but you know what….. Magic happened, calm descended on our home. Melt downs were greatly reduced. I had a tree and decorations but these didn’t upset my son! My daughter had decorations up without the whole fights with her brother.
I guess I want to share that just because things have been/can be really hard, doesn’t mean that they will always stay hard. We did a small (in the great scheme of things) change and from that day our Christmas’s have improved. They have become what I wanted, a time of family and peace.
Now the kids are not kids, but in fact young adults, it is easier again. We sit around and plan what we want to do, and eat, who cares if he wants a curry or pancakes! and decorate with mostly happy results. I just want to say if Christmas is a hard time of year for you and your family, seek help, share ideas that help and support families, if you know they are having a hard time.
If you are the one having a hard time, know your not alone and you all do come out the other side, tired, yes, but you come through it. Make small changes that work for you and your family, forget the rest.
Plan with your ASD person in mind and allow yourself time off from trying too hard. That is the best thing I ever did over the Christmas and it has got better and better as the years have rolled on.