Autism Parenting during Holidays

Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. This will sound strange to those who have neuro-typical children, but the last few years we have been working with my son Devlin in therapy to teach him how to respond to Christmas traditions. On the one hand, our holidays are filled with a lot of the same things I assume yours are:
  • relatives arguing about politics, the more uninformed, the most opinionated. Often wrong, never uncertain.
  • competitive dessert battles between grandmothers
  • trying to decide whether to take zanax or smoke pot before your bigoted uncle arrives
  • strategizing how you can facilitate the closet smokers to take a drag clandestinely out of the judgey sight of the relatives who don’t drink but really should
  • children screaming to hear one more Chipmunk Christmas tune while the adults gently weep
  • generational thermostat guerilla warfare. Why can’t the cowboys and the farmers be friends about the temperature control in the house? It seems to me that being too hot or too cold in someone else’s house is the number one reason for holiday homicides. No one just shuts the f*ck up and deals with their individual temperature issues. That’s what Christmas sweaters with stuffed animals adorning the front or v-string tube tops are for. Has no one heard of layering? No matter that when I visit my parents in December I edge the thermostat down until they finally notice. And once they notice, I sleep with the window half open to let the stiffling heat out of my room. Can’t we all just love each other?
What I suspect your holiday does not include is trying to teach your seven year old son to be excited when opening presents or have any interest in seeing what is in his stocking. Devlin just doesn’t get what all the hoopla is about. He loves pairs of things and numbers, though. This year we are going to number his gifts to see if he gets it!

autism parenting