AUTISM AT CHRISTMAS PART 5
This is the fifth and final part of out Autism at Christmas series. Here, Toni tells us of her experiences at Christmas with her 4 year old son Simon.
I REMIND HIM WHEN CHRISTMAS IS APPROACHING
‘I was so looking forward to sharing Christmas with my own son as when I was growing up, Christmas was always a very happy occasion for all my family. Of course, I didn’t know Simon was autistic for his first Christmas, and babies don’t really understand anyway.
The second year, I had thought he might start understanding, but when he showed no interest, I reasoned it was because he was still young. By the next Christmas, we knew he might be autistic. He would put his fingers in his ears because he didn’t like the sound of presents being unwrapped. He didn’t like surprises, and there was all this stuff that had been wrapped up. He would hide behind his hands whilst i unwrapped presents and then showed him what he had got.
This Christmas might be different, but i still have to prepare him for it. For example i tell him at least a month in advance that Christmasn is coming, then remind him on a weekly basis. I try to get him involved decorating the Christmas tree and living room, because he doesn’t cope well with change.
My advice for families who don’t know what to buy their child for Christmas is to focus on things they are interested in, rather than the latest fads or popular toys. I also put together a sensory box for Simon which included things like spikey fluffy balls and a feather duster, because he loves the feel of these. This box, which is full of items from the £1 shop will bring hm so much joy because it is satisfying his sensory needs’.
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