Snippets of Christmas ~ A mini series.

Experiences of Christmas in a household with a child who has Sensory Processing disorder, along with traits of ASD and ADHD. 

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I love Christmas, although it’s a busy time, it has to be my favourite time of year – a special time for family. I come a fairly traditional family, and we have always celebrated festivals such as Christmas in a certain way. Now my eldest child, Lou is almost 5, she is more aware of the celebrations, via home and school experiences. I decided to write a mini series to show what we experience when celebrating Christmas with a child who experiences sensory sensitives and sensory overloads.

Advent calendars! 

I had bought Lou’s ‘Shopkins’ advent calendar a while ago as it was a ‘but it when you see it’ experience! Shopkins are her current ‘special interest’ and she was aware that the calendar was being stored in the kitchen cupboard, as I purchased it at the beginning of November, she asked to ‘look’ at the calendar every day! On the morning of 1st December her calendar was presented to her via her ‘House Elf’ we have named ‘Fred,’ She said:

“Today is number 1,” (then eats the chocolate,) Then: “Now it’s number 2, then 3, then 4!”

We had to then explain that it is only 1 chocolate per day, and this was hard to take in, therefore the calendar had to be stored out of sight!

‘Fred’ the ‘Elf on the shelf’ returns! 

Lou has been coming downstairs for around a week now and saying: “No presents today!” She hasn’t quite grasped the concept of time and when Christmas day actually is. At bedtime we discussed whether Fred would be returning from the North Pole and she announced: “I don’t like that Elf!” Then I was left thinking oh dear, should I really be doing this at all!?! However, on the morning of the 1st December she was delighted that her Elf had returned and she held him until she went to school, even keeping him under her arm as she ate breakfast! When not really wanting to get dressed for school, she shouted at her dad:

“This elf is telling Santa that Daddy is a naughty boy!”

Next in my series… The Nativity!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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Proud of our girl :) 

This time last year we were unable to take Lou to a fireworks display. She had just been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and had nightmares about Halloween, she had heard a few lots of fireworks around the 5th November 2015 and said: “Too Loud” and held her hands over her ears. She grabbed my arm and squeezed it tight and had trouble going off to sleep.

This year Lou had been doing some work on bonfire night and fireworks at school, she seemed more interested and her grandparents had found some ‘family friendly,’ low-noise fireworks. We also decided to offer Lou some ear defenders and have already found that she prefers to wear them whilst I am hoovering.

So with ear defenders on and wrapped up warm, Lou watched the fireworks in my parent’s garden, she was fascinated and mesmerised by them, she described them as “dancing fairies in the dark.” 

We have decided to repeat this next year as a lower key evening worked so well and we’ll leave the organised displays for now until she’s older. 

Moo was all wrapped up too, she coped well with the noise but we wish we’d found some smaller ear defenders for her! She enjoyed watching the pretty colours and said “bang,” bit required some reassurance from her Aunty and her ‘nummy’ for comfort.

What this has taught us is that we can still enjoy festivals and celebrations such as this ~ but we just need to adapt things here and there such as using the ear defenders.

Thanks for reading 🙂