I debated what to call this section. Be Realistic? Have Grace? Consider Your Own Expectations? Ultimately I landed at

 

“Be Thankful.”

 

Trying to survive the holidays while navigating sensory struggles can be really, really hard. 

Sometimes you’ll be frustrated with your child when they just will not eat what you have for them.
Sometimes you’ll be frustrated with your family when they say something they shouldn’t about autism.
Sometimes you’ll be frustrated with yourself that you didn’t prepare for something, or weren’t able to prevent a meltdown.

 

And eventually, you might just feel like curling into a ball and giving up on holidays, even if you’re a holiday fanatic like me.

 

This time of year is hard with sensory struggles. There are lights and music and new foods and people. It’s overwhelming for neurotypical kids, let alone kids with sensory processing disorder or autism. Not to mention, it’s like there’s holidays or events every other week this time of year.  For families that thrive on routine, it’s stressful.

So yes, be realistic, have grace (for you, your child, and your family), consider your own expectations before an event, but ultimately, be thankful.

Be thankful that you have such a unique little one who experiences the world in a way that many of us can never imagine.
Be thankful that your little one was given to you, a parent who is willing to fight for your child to have the best holiday experience ever.
Be thankful that you were given to them, to teach you and stretch you, but ultimately to make you more amazing than you could ever have been without them.

Just be thankful, because while the mashed potatoes, stuffing, Gingerbread Cookies, and pumpkin pie are fantastic, being thankful is really what this time of year is all about.