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Our strange holidays with autism

I hope everyone had a good holiday. Some of you may celebrate with friends and family, some of you may not. We don’t. When my kids were probably around 11 or 12, we realized that their autism made change almost intolerable to them.  That’s any change:  Change in season, change in daylight savings time, changes in our daily schedule, someone getting sick, plans changing, holidays … any little change.  So in order to minimize the stress of change as much as possible, we stopped celebrating holidays and even birthdays.  We still recognize the person on their birthday and have a cake, but that’s it.  There’s no singing or big fuss.  Instead of a big party with presents, presents are given through the year “just because” instead of for a specific holiday.  I like it better that way anyway.  It feels more special to me instead of being forced to buy tons of presents for one day.

This Thanksgiving is a little different.  Both of my sons have their own apartments (I’m so proud of them!).  So I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for everyone and delivered it to each of their homes. We visited for a few minutes, and that was it. Easy and stress-free for everyone. That’s also the way we’ll be celebrating Christmas.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t have a big holiday get-together and be “normal,” but now I’ve realized that every family is different and that’s okay.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to let go of all that stress.  It’s awesome being different!

Here’s a little video I made on the holidays and school and how it’s okay to be different:

Hope you all have a good holiday in your own way.

Michelle