My kids tolerate the company, but don’t like the feast. They don’t like the food, they don’t like the fact they have to sit still for hours at a time, and they don’t like to keep their “nice” clothes clean for pictures afterward. Of course, they let me know all of this through typical autism behaviors – screaming, throwing tantrums, and running away. And I’M the one who gets all the dirty looks from everyone else.
Over the years, the company (my family) has come to realize that my kids need accommodations to participate in the annual holiday traditions of company and feast. I try to feed the kids ahead of time so that they only have to LOOK like they are eating a small meal. Letting the kids play Game Boy Advance at the table is a must to keep them sitting in place. Pictures are taken BEFORE the meal. As the kids have matured, and can tolerate (play with) company (cousins) more and more, I can actually have conversations with company and even help them with the cleaning up.
This year, I was actually excited about the turkey feast. It was supposed to be at my house, but got canceled, which was what I was excited about. The feast's cancellation meant that I didn’t have to try to keep the house clean during school break while baking and cooking for 4+ hours. I was actually looking forward to making boxed mashed potatoes and fried chicken instead of the fancy trimmings. But, as the family has insisted on carrying on tradition, we’ll get dressed up instead and become the company at someone else’s home. I better make sure the Game Boy Advances are fully charged before we leave the house.
This was originally published back in 2010. Since then, we've upgraded to tablets and smartphones. It's been a real blessing to use them to distract and entertain the kids. What gets you through the holidays?
Hope your holiday season is full of peace and warmth! Blessings from Southside Support!
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