As the holidays roll around, it may go without saying that difficult decisions will need to be made. As special needs parents, we have to weigh the desire to visit family and friends against doing what’s best for our kids.
For the Lost and Tired family, that decision is never an easy one. With 3 boys on the #Autism spectrum, we have to consider what’s best for them over our personal desire to visit with the people we hardly ever get to see. It’s a very ugly truth but a truth nonetheless.
Large family gatherings typically bring with them the chaos of noise, crowds, smells and expectations. All of these things can be and usually are, extremely overwhelming for kids on the #Autism spectrum. It helps when family and friends try to accommodate the special needs of our sensitive little ones but honestly, it doesn’t make much difference.
Despite how badly I want to visit the people that I hardly ever get to see, as a father, I have to do what’s best for my children, regardless of what other people may think.
It’s never a popular decision to stay home because some people actually take it personally and typically the kids really want to go.
However, sometimes, doing the right thing is going to be difficult and make me unpopular but my wife and I know our boys better than anyone. We know how unfair it is of us to put them in a situation that is going to cause them distress, simply so we get to do what we want to do and regardless of how badly they want to go.
Fortunately, most of our family understands and while they are disappointed, they want what’s best for them boys. Unfortunately, some people will never understand but to me, it’s more important that we avoid the distress, overstimulation, anxiety and meltdowns, instead of trying to please those people that will never understand.
We used to spend a lot of time and energy trying to help people understand that even if the boys seem to do well while their there, the fallout is mostly inevitable. It will just occur when we get home and often last for days. Yes you heard me correctly, I said days.
We have sense had to adopt a more callus approach. We simply do what’s best for the boys, regardless of what anyone thinks or says. Thankfully, most have become very supportive and we don’t often have to employ the more callus approach.
If your reading this as a special needs parent, please know that you aren’t alone. You’re not the only one disappointing people by choosing to decline an invite and instead do what’s best for your kids. Stay strong, you’re doing the right thing when you do what you think is best for your kids.
If your reading this and have been the one disappointed because someone you know or love has declined an invite because they are special needs parents and their kids wouldn’t do well, or they can’t find a sitter, please be understanding and supportive. Most people would do almost anything to get away and spend some time with other adults, friends or family members. By declining an invitation, they are making a personal sacrifice. They are putting the needs of their children over top of their desire to accept.
Please try and keep that in mind if that happens. Trust me when I say that it’s not always easy to say thank you, but no thank you. However, when you’re a special needs parent, you do what you have to……
**Thanks for reading**
-Lost and Tired
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Posted from WordPress for Android so please forgive any typos as auto-correct and I don’t see eye to eye. 🙂