Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

A Great Article on How to take Your Autistic Child to See Santa

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:22 PM
  • 3 Replies

 Santa and the Autism Family: 10 Ways To Not Go Completely Insane14 Nov

  1. A week ahead of time, start showing your autistic child pictures of Santa Claus, and tell him that this is the dude whose knee he will be sitting on in order to get a picture taken. Try your best not to be distracted by the neurotypical five-year-old sibling who is bouncing around like the Energizer Bunny on steroids yelling, “Ho ho ho! Hairy Christmas!”
  2. At T minus two days, have a dress rehearsal at your house. This is imperative if you want the autie to wear a suit and tie and he has a tendency to melt down if you try to get him to wear shirts that don’t have horizontal stripes. You’ll probably want to have another dress rehearsal the day before.
  3. The evening before, bath your kids and wash their hair. Do the autie first. If you do the hyperactive neurotypical child first, the autie will head for the hills the second he sees the shampoo bottle. Instead, let the hyperactive neurotypical child dive for cover, hide the shampoo until it’s time to use it, and have a reward system handy. I use gummy bears. Whenever the autie opens his mouth to scream, I just shove another gummy bear in. I have become a master at washing a screaming, flailing autistic child’s hair in less than ninety seconds.
  4. Try not to think of the fact that sometimes, ninety seconds feels more like ninety years.
  5. When you wake up on the morning of the Santa visit, call the photographers who are doing the pictures. Tell them that you have a child with autism, and that if he’s made to wait in line he will have such a bad meltdown that the entire building will crumble and the place will end up looking like an archaeological dig. Most people will accommodate you if they know ahead of time that your child has special needs.
  6. Bring changes of clothes for the kids. As soon as the picture has been taken, the autie will want to put on a shirt with horizontal stripes, and if one isn’t available there will be trouble.
  7. Right before you leave your house, call the photographers again and find out if all their equipment is working. Technology comes with its share of problems, and if you have wait around while they try to get their printer to connect wirelessly to their laptop, your frustrated kids will band together with all of the other frustrated kids who are there, and they will start a Lord Of The Flies kind of mutiny. Believe me, you don’t want to caught with a crowd of angry children. They will overpower you. They will tie the grown-ups to poles and dance around them holding spears and chanting.
  8. Don’t let the absence of spears fool you. Kids can be frighteningly resourceful, especially when they are ticked off and have among their number an autistic child who knows how to think outside the box.
  9. When you are granted entrance to Santa’s domain, don’t mess around. Say hi to Santa, get the picture, and leave. Don’t wait for the autie to make eye contact with the camera lens. You will be waiting until the cows come home.
  10. When it’s all over and you are sobbing in the bathroom from the stress of it all, remember that this experience was positive. As you look at the picture, don’t think about all of the planning and angst leading up to it. Reflect on the fact that you have succeeded in doing a typical family activity. You have brought immense joy to the hyperactive neurotypical child, who shouldn’t be deprived of the opportunity to sit on Santa’s knee. And you have taken another step toward teaching your autistic child some vital coping skills that will help him for the rest of his life. Know this, and feel good about what a great parent you are.

http://runningforautism.com/2011/11/14/santa-pictures-and-the-autism-family-10-ways-to-not-go-completely-insane/

by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-3):
Jenn8604
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 11:26 PM
that works but my son loves showers and getting his hair washed and itd be a thomas shirt not striped. lol
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
ROGUEM
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 11:48 PM

 My sons love the water too.  Stephen will flush the toliet 100x if I let him...lol   He loves to watch falling water out of the facet too.

Hottubgodess
by on Dec. 5, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I hope you dont mind that I laughed my butt off!  The writer is fabulous!!!!  To put such humor into such a stressful situation .....

BTW, this is the first year my almost 8 yr old has even expressed interst into seeing Santa.

 

ETA - I hope I dont offend anyone with my laughing....

Imagine driving a car that isn't working well. When you step on the gas the car sometimes lurches forward and sometimes doesn't respond. When you blow the horn it sounds blaring. The brakes sometimes slow the car, but not always. The blinkers work occasionally, the steering is erratic, and the speedometer is inaccurate. You are engaged in a constant struggle to keep the car on the road, and it is difficult to concentrate on anything else. -Stanley Greenspan
Medications and Mother's Milk - Group Owner  

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)