Christmas Gift Shopping
When I was little I obviously couldn't just go out and buy gifts on my own like I can now. Help your child by guiding them to buy stuff - show them what friends and family might like, because children sometimes have totally different ideas. They don't realise that the recipient might not be so sure about the gift they've been given. Don't just rely on selection boxes for their close friends – sometimes it's hard enough keeping friends never mind getting friends when you have autism!
Decorating The House at Christmas Time
Autistic tendencies may mean that a decoration has to be in a certain place, or it starts a meltdown. I have read a lot recently on social media that people want to move their child's Christmas tree decorations after they have gone to bed.
If you have multiple children you could allocate a part of the tree/house to decorate for each of them as the excitement of decorating is a lot to take in. It makes children feel important if they have their own area they are in charge of.
Christmas Food Shopping
A normal shop for food when it isn't Christmas is very boring and will bring out the negative side in any child. Step this up at Christmas and let them take care of the shopping list. Or maybe you let them pick what sweets they want the family to have - there's lots of selection boxes out there so let them choose from a couple and get them interested in the shopping for that one special trip in the year! This will hopefully alleviate the stress of trying to keep your child focused and stop meltdowns when you say they can't have something.
Getting Through Christmas Day
On Christmas morning I always woke first and I liked to go and see the gifts that sat all wrapped but I knew I couldn't unwrap any till later. So I was given a stocking to open and I'd take the stuff upstairs to eat or play with etc. It meant that I wasn't making a noise and waking my parents up.
Very young children could play with their presents and toys whilst their parents cook the Christmas dinner, but it may be nice if older children help with some of the food prep. Take a bit of time to show your children how to peel a carrot etc. - this will help them in later life.
When it comes to meal time, I am always fine about food touching each other but some may not be so happy and they may not cope with the amount of food. One thing I don't mind is having nice veg gravy (the veg in which the beef marinades gets whizzed up) poured over my food or in a puddle on my plate. The fussiest I've been with food is with the plate I eat off, so it's not always about the actual food itself!
So, that's a little guide on how to make the time up to Christmas go smoothly!
I'm Sarah, from Portsmouth and I was diagnosed with Aspergers as a young teen. My favourite foods are chocolate, pasta, tuna, and I love exotic fruit such as mango. I like to make friends, chat online to celebs and meet them! One passion of mine is web site design - computing comes naturally to me. I volunteer in many places but it's hard to find an understanding employer