The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

14 December 2009

Have a Merry, not Messy, Christmas

Chinoy and Gio Koe
It was a very messy Christmas.
My helpers and I admired the new Christmas tree we put up and decorated. I excitedly positioned my then four-year old first-born for picture taking. In an instant, he plucked one of the icicles hanging on the tree.

Dangling the decorative item by its string, Gio started flicking it, with eyes fixed intently on the motion he was making. Gio was doing his favorite “stim” (self-stimulatory behaviors usually seen in children with autism).

I dashed to save the poor icicle.

During that entire holiday season, we had to watch out for Gio whenever he went near the “endangered” Christmas tree.

It was a New Year’s Eve nightmare.

Tired after taking the kids around during New Year’s Eve, we decided to eat at a popular restaurant (translation – a lot of people inside). Gio did not even want to get down from our car.

But with all family members already hungry, I carried him and thought I could distract him with food.

Gio created a scene – make that a BIG scene – the minute we stepped inside the restaurant. His poor mother could feel thousands of eyes looking at them while valiantly trying behavior modification techniques school teachers taught her.

Don’t Stress. Plan in Advance.

Teachers will not be around with families during the holiday season. The mere fact that their special students’ schedules are disrupted and routines broken during the Christmas break will pose many challenges.

Most special education schools put in so much time preparing for school Christmas parties and programs. To read more on Have a Merry, not Messy, Christmas, click here.

For the 12 Tips for Helping People with Autism and Their Families Have a Happy Holiday developed by the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Easter Seals Crossroads, the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism at Logan and the Indiana Autism Leadership Network, and with inputs from the Autism Society of America, click here.


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