Autism and Jolly Ol’ St. Nick

Our girl is so excited about Santa. She wakes VERY early in the morning to see where Sonic our elf will be hiding next. Little man…he could care less. The Pre-K class in school has been asked to do a Christmas list telling Santa what they would like for Christmas. The Teachers, and I have tried to pry something…anything out of him. Just one or two things. I even gave him examples like…”Do you want Santa to bring you a bike?” Finally… he spoke his piece. “U no understand, Mama.” Which is actually his way of telling ME that HE doesn’t understand.

At first… I must admit…I was kind of sad. I thought… Will we never see the excitement from him that we see from our girl? Will he ever excitedly open a present? Will he ever look out the window…see a plane blinking red and think it is Rudolph’s nose? Will he ever not be able to sleep on Christmas Eve because he is so excited to see what awesomeness Santa is going to leave under our Christmas tree? Maybe…Maybe not.

I have actually been thinking about this a lot. I am sure I could write my own social story to try to teach him what Santa is all about. I could constantly push a story on him about this Jolly Ol’ Elf that rides in a sleigh pulled by 8 tiny reindeer, that visits every single home in the world and somehow slides down our chimney on Christmas eve with a giant sack of toys and puts them under our tree without waking anyone in the house. I am sure eventually he might understand the concept. He might believe in Santa. He might be so excited. He might not. People with autism are often very logical. Even if he did understand… would he believe?

For now I am going to enjoy the excitement that our girl has about Santa and Christmas. I am thankful that she is so excited even if she does wake us up at 2:30 AM to tell us that she searched the house and finally found our shelf elf’s new hiding spot. I am going to enjoy her excitedly opening her presents. Not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve. I am going to hope that she will believe for a few more years.

Little man does enjoy the season. There is no doubt about that. When we put the tree up…he was a sick little boy. He saw the tree and got up off the couch saying “Woods. That’s the woods, Mama!” (He loves anything to do with trees, plants, and the woods) He loves the lights. He also has a new love for Rudolph. He loves the snow. Getting in the car this morning he said in a sad little voice “Where snow? Where snow go?”  He is excited about the season, the lights, and many other things that go along with the Christmas season. We will take that and run with it.

I am going to thank God for giving little man the words that he needed to let me know that he just didn’t understand. A few years ago he couldn’t even tell us he needed a drink. Now he told me that he just didn’t understand. That is HUGE. HUGE. HUGE. I am not going to push Santa on him. It is surely not a priority to a little boy with autism that is still learning to communicate with words. In my eyes…there are much bigger and better things that we could be pushing him to believe in…such as…God, love, family, and himself. I am not going to be sad about him not understanding Santa. I am going to be thankful that he is learning to communicate with words. That is the best  Christmas gift a Mom and Dad could have ever been given.


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2 Responses to Autism and Jolly Ol’ St. Nick

  1. Auntie Shell says:

    You are such good parents! I ❤ you!

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