I can think of no better thing than spending time with my children. When the opportunity arose to spend extra time with my son, I jumped at the chance.
Taking my son out is never without incident as no doubt any parent of an autistic child will tell you. But I want to give my son the opportunities that all other children get. I don’t want him left out. So I took him to see Santa.
He was all excited when I told him who we were going to see. He couldn’t keep still! We queued in line with the other harassed parents and overexcited children. I was a bit apprehensive about how he would react at facing Santa but he was brilliant! He sat on his knee, told him what he wanted for Christmas and posed for his photograph. And then it happened.
Santa gave my son his present. My son looked at the present and burst into tears. Santa, confused, asked what was the matter. He cried even harder. I took my son aside and tried to calm him down. He was so upset. After getting our pictures and finding a quiet spot, I discovered exactly what was wrong.
My son believed that when he met Santa, he would receive what he had asked for Christmas. So when shopping mall Santa handed him a colouring book and crayons, he was not best pleased.
I have a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with an autistic child. I should have explained to my son beforehand exactly what was going to happen. It may have staved off this tantrum but in the end, tantrum aside, it was a great day out and a learning curve for me.