Saturday, December 21, 2013

Autism and the Holidays

The holidays are hard for autistic people (the time between mid Nov and Jan). It’s hard sometimes for the neurotypical population to understand this. 

With the holidays comes a lot of change, disruption, noise, bright lights, more social demands and let’s not forget all the energy that is put off (good and bad). Autistic people are extremely sensitive to these things. So, you may notice some changes in the autistic person you care for around this time of the year.

It’s common for parents to see this as a regression. Trust me, this is not a “regression”. This is a natural and common response to environmental factors that attack us. We feel out of control, we have anxiety, etc…

Adults have the option to retreat and gain some control over these things, while minors (children) have limited control over nearly every aspect of their lives.

Some may even lack the ability to communicate what exactly is wrong with them, either because they have obvious communication barriers or they just have no clue what all is bothering them (happens to adults too).

It can be frustrating to watch someone you love struggle with this, it can even seem “baffling” to you that they respond certain ways. Remember, no matter how hard it is on you.. it’s harder on the autistic person you care for. Any outburst, reaction, withdrawal, etc... is a communication that is saying “Please help me, this is all too much”

Keep that in mind as we continue through this holiday season.
Please and thank you.

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