A Christmas 2016 Update
Fortunately, Pink Cup Dad has been on vacation because I’ve been really sick. So, he took care of Frances on his own until yesterday when he went back to work.
The Christmas season officially ends for us in the second week of January as the kids return to school.
This festive period in general has been very hard for Frances throughout the years: changes in the environment (decorating), dismantling the tree, too many objects (gifts) around her, people coming by to deliver gifts, too much noise, too much of everything. The poor kid usually has several meltdowns.
I think that there must be some ASD families who try to avoid Christmas altogether. But in our case the change of NOT putting up a tree or decorating or opening gifts would also be horribly stressful for her, so we err on the side of celebration. In the past, we’ve staggered gift opening and limited visits.
At any rate, Frances found her way through this particular Christmas holiday probably with slightly less stress than in previous years.
Christmas Eve was very difficult for her: she ended up sleeping for only two hours (from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.).
On Christmas Day, she had her 8-year-old cousins with whom to play, and ordinarily she has a very difficult time: meltdowns, conflict over sharing and the rules of play.
This year, Frances had only one big meltdown (involving play) and some other relatively minor ones on the big day. Considering her lack of sleep, I think she did very well.
The next most stressful part about Christmas for her — removing all signs of the holiday — is coming up next.
I’m just too sick to deal with the Christmas accoutrement at the moment, and it will have to be put away at a barely perceptible rate when I finally can do so… There will, unfortunately, still be some tears.
Then, dear readers, we will have a small break from celebrations until birthday season is upon us from February until July…
(I should add: Frances really enjoyed Christmas, but I was trying to write about how she reacts to it regarding her sensitivities, etc.)