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Christmas Is Near….

This is always my favorite time of year. We celebrate big usually with three Christmases. One for My side, One for the Husband’s side and One all to ourselves. This Christmas will not be so Merry. We lost my husbands father on December 8 and it is way too fresh to feel like much of a celebration. I have spent the last couple of weeks explaining to Adrian why people are not here anymore and that there is no Magical man in a big red suit with flying reindeer and a sleigh. He is going to most likely ask where his Grandpa on Christmas or say something like my Grandpa is in Heaven and everyone will gasp and I will have to explain again to Adrian which I do not mind at all.

About Santa Claus however I care very much. Adrian my sweet boy believes just about anything anyone tells him and when he can not see tangible evidence he becomes upset quickly. In the past we have taken him to see a Santa Claus We will not this year. He believes there is a magical fat man in a red suit who has flying reindeer and a big sleigh. He has been talking about being on the nice list and how Santa and his Reindeer will bring him Christmas Presents. Well I agree that for most kids this concept is okay for mine it is not. He will want to see a Santa Claus and Flying Reindeer and the whole nine yards. Impossible for me to produce. I am starting to dread this season for that reason. Kids at school, people everywhere celebrate Santa. I am not sure how I explain to a kid who does not understand that somethings are pretend. For now he has seemed to drop the subject and I for one hope he lets it go.

We will not be celebrating Christmas with my side of the family this year. After the train wreck that was Thanksgiving I don’t think I could survive Christmas too. We will be with my husband’s family though and it will be bittersweet. We will open presents at 6:00 am with our children Christmas Day like always too. I may cook also. I am not sure yet. Will see how things go. I am looking forward to seeing our children hopefully happy on Christmas Day.

This year we bought Adrian an iPad 1. I am looking forward to helping him download his favorite apps and explore apps he has not yet used. I think he will be excited. I am excited to see what he can do. We bought the iPad with a single goal in mind. Adrian has great difficulty writing even scribbling is a difficult task for him.

I usually buy art supplies in bulk just before school lets out for break. This year I only bought the bare minimum. Two packs of crayons and a huge pad of paper for Jade. Jade is our little artist . She will draw for hours and is constantly creating elaborate colorful patterns. Adrian has had the same Curious George coloring book for two years now. Last night we set out coloring items. Jade went to the table and asked Adrian to come with her. After some hesitation he followed. He watched as Jade drew shapes and colored them in. Finally we saw him take interest in his coloring book. He opened it found a page and colored for two minutes. He looked at us and showed us what he had done. My husband said that’s wonderful Adrian, you should color more often.

I am sure his muscles get tired and that fact distracts him from enjoying the simplest things such as coloring. I do not think it will be so difficult for him with an iPad. He will still need to grip but will not have to push nearly as hard. I have been grabbing every iPad app that allows for coloring or writing that I can find. I am sure he will make good use of them. We will also use the
iPad for visual scheduling. I can not wait to see how much fun he has.

I want to wish all of my readers A Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays if you prefer and A Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2012 is better than 2011 was!!


Halloween Night

Tonight is Halloween night. My husband and I took Jade and Adrian out Trick or Treating from 6:15pm to 7:15pm. We walked around our neighborhood instead of going to Ferrysburg like we usually do.

The entire time Adrian repeated the phrase do you think we have enough treats yet? No I don’t think so he’d answer himself. Jade gets quite annoyed with his echolalia. I know that it is his way of coping in situations where he is not completely comfortable. I have to remind Jade of this.

For the most part Adrian does well. He is scared of dogs and we pass at least ten just on the first street. I am fully expecting a meltdown. He does not. We walk around the corner another two big dogs. No melting. We walk up to the house where two women are dressed as witches. One woman makes a comment about how she sees Adrian get on the bus everyday and she wants to give him extra candy. She knows he rides a special bus and I am sure she is aware that he is autistic. Her neighbor and I have had conversations about autism because she has an autistic grandson. He responds to this woman by telling her your a witch. She smiles and says yes I am.

Then we go to a friend of mine’s house. Her little boy has just been diagnosed with Aspergers. He is a sweetheart!! Adrian knows her very well. Adrian keeps repeating sentences because we are on a porch with five other people and he is nervous. The little boy asks me if he is okay and I say yes. Remember how l told you that Adrian has autism? That is part of his autism. He repeats phrases when he is nervous or excited. Adrian tried to ride the little boys scooter. We have a rule that he is never allowed to touch others things without their permission. He says sorry directly to the little boy. I am amazed!! Adrian is ready to go so my husband takes the Jade and Adrian to finish trick or treating and I stay behind to talk for a couple of minutes.

When I catch up Adrian is mesmerized by two pumpkins. One changes color the other makes noises. I ask the person where they purchased them and find out it is not the actual pumpkin it is a little orange box inside the pumpkin that I can get at Walmart. I thank the person and turn to walk away in time to witness Adrian’s first meltdown. There is music coming from a stereo under a sheet. Adrian does not realize where it is coming from and runs away making scared noises. He rarely ever cries. Then daddy shows him where the sound is coming from and he walks over to it and listens. Then walks to the next house.

At the next house both Steve and I are expecting a huge meltdown. There is a person sitting in a rocking chair on the porch. Then there is what looks like a scarecrow in a mask laying on the porch. At first I am not sure if this is a person or not. Adrian crotches down to inspect the “person” and all of a sudden the person yells boo, then lies back down. At first Adrian does not understand and says oh no the person is hurt mom he needs help. Then the person says boo again and Adrian laughs and smiles he asks the person to boo him again six times. By this time I explain that he is autistic and likes repetitiveness. The man in the rocking chair does a creepy voice that he thinks Adrian will like. Adrian does. We had to remove Adrian from that porch. We end up going home after that to check candy and the kids each eat a piece.

Other then the two times he went to doors with Jade and freaked out because no one answered we had no other problems. This was our second year trick or treating after his diagnosis. Last year went okay. This year was awesome!!!

He surprised us at every turn. Then again he does that nearly everyday. The things he goes through are no small feat so if he wants to repeat something then I owe it to him not to go crazy when he does so. We waited what felt like forever just to hear him speak. There is no way I will ever tell him not to be himself he is perfect just the way he is. His costume was a big hit too!! Autism has taught me many things, my son has taught me the most important one… We all need people to see us for who we are and be understanding. I try to be that person every single day not only for my son, but also for others like him who need not to be judged, but for others to try to understand.