How We Celebrate Christmas with Our Autistic Son

BY: - 23 Dec '14 | Parenting

Share this article!

Facing Autism on BMWK

We have always tried to make the Christmas season a special one for our son, Angel. Last year, his fascination with Christmas trees and Christmas lights began. However, trees and lights are where his fascination with Christmas ends.

As a parent of an only child who is on the autism spectrum, I have conditioned myself to understand that our celebrations will be different. Christmas is no exception. It is a process.

Every year I am asked by friends and family, “What does Angel want for Christmas?” I always pause when I hear this question. I pause because Angel has never been the child to make a list of what he wants. He has also never said, “This is what I want for Christmas.” This kind of expressive communication is tough for him, even at seven-years old. So I respond after thinking of what he needs and what he has gravitated toward over the past year. Like I said, it is a process.

Honestly, I am not sure if Angel understands what Christmas means. I am referring to the Christian and commercial aspects of this holiday.  Abstract concepts have always been tough for him.

So how do we celebrate Christmas? We surround ourselves with family and have a good time. Sometimes it seems like Angel could care less about opening gifts but we try our best and coax him into being a part of everything. We also eat lots of food. Maybe one year, we will brave taking him to church.

Angel has never been into Santa, but every year we drag him to a sensitive Santa event, trying to get that perfect Santa Christmas photo. We haven’t gotten one yet but he always has a great time and that is what matters.

Last year we took Angel to see the Christmas tree at Rockerfeller Center in Manhattan and he loved it. This was in spite of the crowds. We plan to take him to see it at least once before this Christmas season is over.

One thing I know in my heart is that Angel is always surrounded by people who love him unconditionally and in essence this is what Christmas is all about.

BMWK: How do you celebrate Christmas with your autistic child?

 

 

About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

Store

like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!

Discussion

Facebook Wordpress

2 WordPress comments on “How We Celebrate Christmas with Our Autistic Son

  1. Pingback: How We Celebrate Christmas with Our Autistic Son | Cafe Mocha Radio

  2. Pingback: How We Celebrate Christmas with Our Autistic Son | KCEP-FM

Leave a Reply

Get
Parenting Articles Delivered To Your Inbox Daily! Sign up below!

The Best Christmas Gift for Your Entire Family (It’s FREE!)

BY: - 24 Dec '14 | Parenting

Share this article!

TNMCoupleGiftSurprisefeature

Welp, it’s Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is Christmas. I still can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. In January I got engaged to the love of my life. In September, we jumped the broom. And now, here we are, preparing to celebrate our first Christmas together as a married couple. However, a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I noticed that neither one of us were in the Christmas spirit. That fact alone might as well be low-key blasphemy, because both my husband and I absolutely LOVE Christmas. It wasn’t long before the rest of the world started to lament via social media about how they weren’t feeling Christmas this year either. What in the world was happening?

After trying to figure out how the grinch stole everybody’s and they mama’s Christmas, it dawned on me: Mike Brown. Ferguson. Eric Garner. Injustice. And the list goes on. A collective heartbreak had taken place, just in time for the holidays, and we can’t shake it. After watching ELF, Home Alone 2, drinking eggnog, and keeping the Christmas Pandora station on constant play, I realized these minimal efforts weren’t going to cut it. I needed the real deal. The end of 2014 seems to be a bummer, robbing our holiday joy, but I’m reminded of the best gift for all and it’s FREE: Christ.

The presents, mistletoe, Santa Claus, and everything else that makes the holidays magical are my absolute favorite. However, years ago I made sure to be intentional about ensuring I celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, no matter how corny it sounded. Let me tell you, that was a bit difficult. Why? My parents spoiled me. On any given Christmas, I had a minimum of 15 gifts under the tree. And since I was the only child for 12 years, I didn’t have to share anything. Every Barbie, easy bake oven, Lisa Frank stationary, cd player, and whatever other toys that were trending at the moment, strictly belonged to me. ALL MINE. It didn’t take long, until my younger self became conditioned to the idea that Christmas was simply a time for me to receive gifts. Can you imagine the agony I felt, as I began to get older, and my gift count slowly decreased. Was Christmas solely a children’s holiday, that lost its sparkle after you become an adult? Couldn’t be.

Where did the tradition of gifts come from? In the Bible, the wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus, to celebrate the birth of the Savior and King. Black Friday, along with the craziness of retail during the holidays are definitely NOT symbolic of the wise men giving gifts to baby Jesus, but I’d like to think the tradition was initially pure. However, I believe we’ve unconsciously overlooked the greatest blessing of Christmas: Christ! Emmanuel, which means God is with us. 🙂

This Christmas, let’s be intentional about NOT worrying how much money we didn’t have to purchase presents. And although the ugly demon of racism is showing its head in America, let’s trust that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:19). Instead, let’s focus on the gift that keeps giving, which happens to be Christ. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). I can’t be the only one who gets excited when I meditate on the awesomeness of the true meaning of Christmas. We were sinners. God saw that. He sent his son, Christ, to die for our sins. And because Christ was born, we are reconciled back to God. Yes! This is why we celebrate. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor  The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas friends 🙂

BMWK, Are you in the Christmas spirit this year?

About the author

Nikki Carpenter wrote 46 articles on this blog.

Nikki Carpenter, also known as Nikki and The City, is an urban media expert from Chicago who loves to travel and report on issues that impact different cultures and communities. Nikki's work has been featured on Huff Post LIVE, Jet Magazine, and ESSENCE just to name a few.

Store

like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!

Discussion

Facebook Wordpress