This year we had our first normal Christmas since my son was an infant. In years past we could always expect meltdowns, tantrums, retreating to his room to avoid everything and other behaviors that really led to an experience anyone would want to avoid.
Most parents of a child on the spectrum dread holidays. The extended family parties were always a problem for my son. He could not handle all the noise that happens when you have a house full of children and their parents. Opening gifts was to chaotic and noisy for him. His cousins playing was too noisy for him. It was always a matter of when, not if, but when he was going to melt down. I dreaded it every year.
Last year was our worst for holiday celebrations with the extended family. My son spent the brunt of the evening sitting in the dark in the upstairs hallway while I staved off the tears watching everyone’s children happily opening their gifts. It always made me sad that my son didn’t have happy memories with any holiday or birthday. It was very hard to not be able to enjoy seeing everyone and sharing the holidays together, but rather cushion the melt downs, leave early, and go home to cry when it was all a disaster for him.
This year is our first year that I can report that my son had an absolutely NT Christmas. We had no tantrums, no meltdowns, no odd behavior. He saved up his allowance and asked me to take him to the store to buy gifts for his immediate family. He shopped on his own and chose a gift for each family member. He calculated the costs, and went through the check out. Paid the cashier and everything. When we got home he asked me to show him how to wrap them. I showed him how by wrapping one of my own that I needed to get wrapped. Then he asked me to leave him alone so he could wrap them himself. And he did!! He wrapped all four presents on his own. He made tags and wrote names on them and put them in a hidden place in his room until Christmas.
This is the first year we have gone to the extended family Christmas and not had any problems. When my son was bothered by the shrieking of his 2-year-old cousin, he just covered his ears or went into a different room. We did have him open his gifts with his grandparents before everyone else arrived. Then we just hung out in the dinning room socializing while the rest of the children opened gifts. This way he could avoid the chaotic moment of the evening. Once gifts were done, he played with his cousins for several hours and didn’t ask to go home.
We actually had a perfect evening!
I have the flower essence blend to thank for this improvement. We have gone to two family parties since he started them and both times my son did not melt down, hide or beg to leave because of the noise and number of people.
We will resume chelation rounds after the New Year and continue the flower essence blend. And hopefully be able to post more wonderful updates!