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When your DC have no idea it's Christmas(16 Posts)
So I feel like I'm struggling with this this week. I've got twin boys who are 4 with ASD. They are at mainstream nursery and it's a week full of parties and games with Father Christmas going in on a couple of days. The boys are unaffected by it in a sensory/change of routine etc way which is good but that's just it, they are unaffected by it. Totally oblivious to any of it and it's making me really sad.
They are my only children so for large parts of the year the way they are is just the way that they are. I almost forget that they 'should' talk because it has become our normal that they don't. But this week I've got that punched in the stomach feeling when I see how excited NT 3/4 year olds are. Seeing them chattering with their Mums or coming over to talk to me at pick up time is like being repeatedly smacked in the face with how different mine are.
I know it's a difficult time of year for many people for various reasons. I know this all might sound ridiculous and all about me. I'm lucky to have two gorgeous happy little boys, and the main thing is this is not a problem for them. It's just something else that hits home things aren't turning out as I imagined they would. Anyone else feeling anything similar?
Your not being ridiculous , it's bloody hard , my daughter who's is 5 and at sp sch has said " Christmas finished" on a few occasions
DS2's 8 and has only just begun to appreciate christmassy things and presents, over the past few years.
It's all a massive source of stress for DS1, who also has ASD but is much higher functioning. He's struggling with th fact that all the shops will be shut for a whole day.
It does get a bit gloomy, when everyone else is feeling festive, but it's nice to be able to build up some quieter traditions of our own.
I remember feeling sad because my ds was not excited about Christmas and Santa. It felt like he was the only child in the world who was not up early on Christmas day excited to see what Santa had brought him.
Ds is 6 now and we both really enjoy Christmas. We have are own rituals and like to spend a lot of time at home watching christmassy DVDs on the lead up to Christmas. We also keep things as normal as possible with his usual activities/sports classes.
In the past I have taken him to the pantomime and thought doing christmassy things all the other kids do would make him like Christmas. But having a quiet time at home is much more enjoyable and is what has made him like Christmas. The same routine every Christmas with same food and same movies.
My ds had absolutely no clue about Christmas last year when he was 4. This year he's started at special school and he definitely aware of it happening.
It is still tough though. I'm staying home just ds and I as he just can't cope with all the excitement and presents if we go to family. I'm having to still be very low key about it as he fixates on certain things and it becomes overwhelming for him.
Like pp's said though I am looking at it as opportunity to create some of our own routines and traditions and bring in things that ds will enjoy. It will just be very different than I would have expected
Thanks everyone. Just typing it out helped. DT's are sleeping badly at the moment so everything seems so much worse when I feel so tired.
It looks like both boys will be at SS for next Christmas so it will all be a bit more low key I suppose. I like the sound of making our own traditions though. That's probably the way forward.
I feel the same. DD has ASD and is almost 4. She has no concept of Christmas yet. It makes me sad when people ask if she is excited or has she written her list to Santa because it reality to her it is just another day.
They will understand at some point, especially if at SS where December seems to be nothing but a huge celebration and lots of spoiling. DD is 8 and so excited this year for first time, to point of bouncing around all night. And she has quite severe SN. So don't despair At 4 she wouldn't look at us and now hugs us and loves people. 4 is quite a tricky age.
My dds special school is like that , we visited Santa on a farm, have had a concert and Santa will visit school
Monkey - Sorry it's the same for you. Yes we've had various people in lifts/shop queues ask the boys if they are excited, or being good boys 'cos Father Christmas is watching etc. Then I have to fill the silence with excuses of them "not really talking" or "a bit shy" or whatever I feel like saying that day. Obviously people are being kind and harmless but it really doesn't make you feel great.
Fanjo - Thanks, I will try not to despair about it . Your DD sounds really lovely and sounds like you are in for a lovely Christmas with her this year. Gives me some hope
Thanks autumn - I remember when we were shown around the SS my DT,s will probably go to they said Christmas is done in a very understated way, but there is a concert and party etc.
It's wonderful, the staff all know exactly what each child can cope with
Yes fanjo at ds ss school they have done so much Christmas stuff all through December. They've been out to see Christmas lights, donkeys and riendeers had parties and a show.
But like you said autumn none of it has fazed ds and they pitched it all at their individual levels.
I'm now trying to hide from the fact that I'm wrapping presents for my 5 year old marked 6 - 36 months
Same here My son will be 4 in Jan and although he recognises Santa and is happy to have a tree up, he doesn't get it. Last year I was so sure he'd understand by this year; now I'm hoping he'll get it next year! He has no interest in wrapped pressies - no curiosity - so we still had unopened pressies in April. This year I think I'll only wrap a couple and see how he is. It is hard.
autumn - Yes this Christmas in a mainstream nursery is helping me realise SS is probably the right environment for them. And yes most of the things we buy them are also suitable for much younger than their actual age.
Islander - Sorry to hear it's the same for you, sounds very similar to us. We had no reaction to last years presents, no curiosity, no interest in them which was quite upsetting to see. We've got less this year and will probably not even wrap them, just put them out in playroom and see what they do.
I think it's hard because when I was pregnant or DT's were tiny babies, the Christmases when they were 3/4+ were the ones I imagined would be lovely.
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