Christmas and Birthdays -autism style



It wasn’t that long ago that Christmas and birthdays didn’t mean a thing to Isla. We would give her presents trying to make her enthusiastic about what was inside but she had no interest. Children of her age would rip into their own and happily open other people’s presents with such excitement but Isla just didn’t want to know.

Last year was the first year she understood what presents are and she hasn’t looked back since! She spent the entire year since, when entering any shop with toys, asking “can I have this for Christmas or I’ll get this for my birthday”. I must admit is a great way to put off a tantrum saying she can have it for her birthday a year away and it seems to have been successful all year. It’s just lucky she can’t remember them all!

This year as Christmas approaches I am hoping she will be happy with Santa’s picks. We did a little shopping trip a while back to pick out things she definitely wanted at that time as she finds it hard to create her own wishlist without it physically being in front of her. With limited social etiquette she will not hold back expressing that she doesn’t like what you have given her. Again this is her not bring a spoilt brat. She is just so black and white. We do use opportunities like this to model what should be said but when you try to explain that you should say you like something when you don’t to be polite, she’s like why!!??

We have so many toys with her Shopkins, Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol obsession but she still plays with them all when I can get her off Stampy Cat Minecraft Channel that has now replaced the Shopkins Review channel.  She seems to be able to access this from every device and television in our house even when I don’t know how to !! So there are a few items to add to her collection and hopefully this will renew her interest in playing with her toys.

This year we are also embracing the new found art interest with paints, an easel and lots of messy play. I will need to find her a corner of the garden somewhere!

Also she loves to play simply board games and again creates another opportunity to get away from the screen! Has loved the Richard Scarry Busy Town and Busy Town Airports for a long time. She still brings them out to play with their missing and broken parts and gets a lot of enjoyment out of them. However for the rest of us not so much. The Shopping Game is still a favourite and Orchard Toys do a great range of games which she loves that have the bonus of being educational.

Islas is a New Year’s Day baby so her birthday will fall when we are away camping this year. We have avoided all New Years Eve celebrations pretty much since she was born and this year is the first time we may have to stay up to midnight. I must admit I am a little anxious about how it will all pan out but is important for Isla’s sisters to have a little fun and sometimes in situations like these Isla surprises me with her ability to cope when I didn’t think she would. Well let’s hope so anyway.

Our dear friend, who we are camping with, is going to whip up a chocolate cake in her caravan for Isla (has to be chocolate and just chocolate or there would be dire consequences!) and am hoping we can have a low key party for her with some party games where she will have to win of course to keep the peace. It is fortunate that the children who will be with her are all older and have such a great understanding of Isla that I know they will make it special for her.

So as long as Isla has somewhere quiet to go on Christmas Day to avoid all the people and noise, Santa doesn’t attempt to go near her bedroom when delivering presents and we don’t attempt to get a photo with Isla sitting on Santa’s knee all will be well. Christmas is so magical for children and is so nice Isla can finally fully experience it.

Published by Sara Stythe

Hi my name is Sara Stythe and I am a mum of 3 beautiful girls. This is a place to share knowledge, resources and information I have learnt along the way on this unexpected journey with our unique youngest daughter. Isla is missing a tiny bit of her 2nd chromosome (2q23.1 Microdeletion Syndrome, recently known as MAND) causing autism, epilepsy and development delay. If you would like to receive my new blog posts by email you can subscribe. Thank you

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