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Christmas Recap December 26, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

It’s all a blur. A good one. But a blur all the same.

Lots to do. Little sleep to be had. Got to bed 3am, then 5am, then 2am–7 hours of sleep over 3 nights is pushing it even for me. But so worth it in the end.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to have good friends…the ones who understand autism best and have a real relationship with our son… over for an open house luncheon from  noon til 4:00, but they never leave by 4:00 … and we’re glad to have them for as long as they’ll stay.  They’d be welcome to stay til morning! About 10 minutes after the last guests leave, the inlaws arrive for the evening festivities. So its one big celebration. The only thing that stinks is the fish..literally. ‘C’ was great with all of it…very relaxed with all these people.

Christmas Day began with the usual tradition of gift trashing unwrapping. But this year, ‘C’ was pretty focused. The Batcave was right there front and center without wrapping. ‘C’ made a bee-line for it and said some appropriate verbals for the camcorder. Sister was loving her Wii Fit and all the other stuff. 

One of the nice things about Christmas …and its traditions…is that it’s a good gauge of ‘C’s progress over the year. Some noteable gains include that ‘C’ made a list this year (with some assistance from me and the toy catalog) and wanted to go see Santa (where he spontaneously asked for the Batcave). He also unwrapped his presents himself and was able to continue with the unwrapping instead of just stopping to play with the first thing he opened. And he spoke into the camera a bit…a big plus.

And let’s not forget the true test of being “typical” which ‘C’ (though far from typical) managed to pass for the first time ever… After all the gifts were opened, he said “I want the fire house.” Note that the freakin firehouse in question has not been available in the entire state of New York for two months, he hasn’t mentioned it since first putting it on his list in October, and it costs 4x the list price if you buy it online from Amazon (and that’s before shipping costs!). So, can someone just pull the knife out of my heart, please?

At Christmas Dinner at Uncle Mike’s, he didn’t stim continuously on the doorbell/front door (just two second’s worth upon arrival), didn’t spend the whole night down in the basement with only me or hubby for company (he went down for some old toys and brought them up to play in the den). He was relaxed enough to actually eat a bit of food (though he still prefers the kitchen to the crowded dining room). All big things!

And the cutest thing of all…he went up to everyone (16 people) without prompting or arm-twisting and said “Merry Christmas (name)” and either hugged or kissed them (or bent his head forward for them to kiss him). Once on arrival and then again for good-byes!

Now, he wasn’t perfect, of course.  But what kid is, right?  There’s the sharing of toys problem (he’s awful) and he won’t yet play with the other little kids (just beside them).  And of course, he still tries t get to the many candy dishes full of treats he can never have.  Yes, the family continues to put them out anyway.  

About the worst “scene” we had this year was when ‘C’ emerged from the basement with me just about 3 steps too far behind him.  In a split second, he got a bit too close to the glass fireplace doors and the wall of heat practically singed  his eyebrows. A quick scare. A bag of ice just to be sure. No damage.

The evening continued and…for the first time ever…we left a holiday celebration at the very end of the night. Not our usual scoop ‘C’ up in a huff, quick departure after some kind of major scene. Not the usual feeling like outcasts among family who don’t understand or care or offer to help.

Was it really only one year ago that we left the same home abruptly after ‘C’ had gotten an M&M in the two freakin seconds I turned away to help unmold someone’s hideous jello mold? Why was I helping out when no one offered to  help us watch ‘C’ all night so we could eat while the food was hot or join in a conversation? I was so frustrated.

And they heard me exclaim as we drove out of sight, “Can’t they push their fat asses away from the candy, just for ONE night?”

What a difference a year makes. One of us is really making great progress…

Have you noticed the progress in your little one between last year and now? Go on, brag about it…



1. MOMSBLESSINGS - December 26, 2008

It truly is amazing to see the progress from one year to the next, this year my son was not eager to open all of the packages (I mean anyones), we were able to actually wrap them and put them under the tree or in sight without him even touching them. At our family get together he was asking verbally and nonverbally to open his presents yet not touching them without permission. Christmas morning was great he opened all of his gifts and was verbalizing more than ever (so glad to have that on video) he truly enjoyed all of his presents and played the whole entire day without even caring about watching tv. I notice in general it is getting so much easier to be around company whether at our house or someone elses, he is calming down and we are able to actually enjoy ourselves without feeling uncomfortable or frustrated! “How nice is that”

2. hope4mygirl - December 29, 2008

This is THE BEST Christmas present of all….being able to celebrate a holiday w/ all of your loved ones and come out of it w/ a big smile!!!! I am so happy for you and “C” and your entire family!!! What wonderful progress!!!! We noticed alot of progress this year as well. It’s nice to have your child WANT to open presents and be in the same room as everyone else instead of just sitting in front of the TV all alone!!!!! Here’s to mor “happy moments”!!!!

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