Autism isn't just for Christmas

Dear Friends,

Every year the Queen gives a speech on Christmas day and this year I thought why not join her. So pull up a chair, grab a cuppa or something a little stronger and spend the next 2 minutes giving some thought to my message.

Christmas is a time of wonder and joy. A time of year when families come together and share gifts but more importantly share their time and love.

Autism isn't just for Christmas.

When you are using the naughty list as a bargaining tool to make your child behave.
Spare a thought for the child who is facing extreme anxiety because they feel that they haven't been good enough.

When you are feeling slightly bored or irritated at hearing your child say their lines for the school play over and over again.
Spare a thought for the parents who listen to their child recite whole sections of their favourite programs repeatedly..

When you look up in delight at your beautiful tree.
Spare a thought for the family who can't put one up because the lights send their son into a panic.

When you are complaining on Christmas Eve that your kids will not go to sleep. 
Spare a thought for those parents whose child never sleeps.

When you are excitedly opening gifts, surrounded by wrapping paper.
Spare a thought for the children who don't like the feel or sound of wrapping paper so can't have anything wrapped.

When your child wishes you happy Christmas.
Spare a thought for the mum who hasn't heard her 9 year old child speak.

When you are watching the Christmas day family film together.
Spare a thought for the family who are watching Barney on DVD for the millionth time with their 14 year old son.

When you are doing up the buttons on your sons new shirt or zipping up that pretty dress especially for Christmas day.
Spare a thought for the child who will only wear jogging pants and T-shirts because she doesn't like the feel of anything else against her skin. 

When you are tucking into your Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
Spare a thought for the mother who gives her daughter pizza every day because that's all she will eat.

When you are cuddling with your kids on the sofa.
Spare a thought for the dad who has never felt his sons arms around him.

When you are moaning about your child's spoiled behaviour.
Spare a thought for the dad who has dealt with 3 melt downs before 10 o'clock.

When you are enjoying a party with family or friends.
Spare a thought for the mum who can't relax because she is constantly checking that her son is OK.

When you are complaining about the holiday being too short and you can't believe it's time to go back to work already. 
Spare a thought for the child who can't wait to get back to school because he needs routine and structure to stop feeling anxious.

Spare a thought for children and families living with autism
not just this Christmas but the whole year through.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Disclaimer: This is the reality of Autism 'for some people'. Autism is a broad spectrum disorder so no autistic person or family will have the same experiences. 

This is a revised post: It was first published in December 2015. Help raise awareness and acceptance of difference, please share this post.

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