December 2

Surviving the holidays when dealing with autism – Posted on 12/2/19

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Holidays can be a trying time when you have an autistic child. Holiday season is full of sensory overload with the crowded stores with long lines, loud and blaring holiday music, blinking holiday lights, and travelling. I sometimes get overwhelmed myself and frustrated with all that goes with the holidays. However, my Autistic son is the one who is most symptomatic of this change. His noises get louder and increase when he is in a new environment around people that he is not accustomed to being around. It is like he regresses, which is so frustrating because he has made A LOT of progress this year. I wish our family could see that when he is around them but it is like he is on ‘factory reset’ when he is visiting with family he has not seen in a while. The words are replaced by noises and it is like he is an 8 month-old rather than an 8 year-old. For this very reason, I sometimes hate to travel out of town to visit family. I feel like it is all on me to ‘corral’ him so that my husband can enjoy his time with his family. It makes me resentful and frustrated because I would rather be home relaxing where my son is most comfortable. However, I push through doing this every year because it is important for both my sons to know their extended family and most importantly, for my Autistic son to get this exposure to having to adjust to new environments.  I have been on a trend right now of exposing my Autistic son to environments that he may not prefer so that he can learn to adjust to them gradually. Right now, he has made it through THREE church services and I am so proud! So I fight through what I know will be challenging experiences so that he can know how to survive them. The world is becoming more sensory sensitive but LIFE is not accommodating to neuroatypical children. Change is a constant thing and you have to learn how to adjust to it. I have learned this through different employers that no matter where you go, you can not hide from change. So, if my son is going to make it in this world and hopefully attain some level of employment and good standing, he has to learn how to survive change and make adjustments accordingly. My mother always told me that “you don’t raise a child for yourself but for the world around them.” I may have a child with a challenge to do this but hopefully, with my help, he can come to excel in this every changing world that we live in.  I challenge you as parents to do the same.

To learn more on how to safely expose your child to new settings while avoiding meltdowns, watch this video that helped me on YouTube by a mom who has three Autistic sons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLbpNTt-ZNM.

Love and light,

Kira


Tags

Maria Borde, neuroatypical children, neurotypical children, nonverbal autistic children


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