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Should Autistic People Be Welcome at Family Holiday Events?
Are you Welcome at Your Family Holiday Events?
The holidays are always a very challenging time of year for everyone. There is so much hustle and bustle going on that no one really gets to take the time to slow down and appreciate the actual holidays. The holidays are especially stressful for families affected by autism.
I have never seen a diagnosis divide so many families as much as I have seen autism divide families. There are many people whose families become divided as soon as a child in the family receives an autism diagnosis. Let’s be honest, autism is hard, but should our own families really be upset at us or abandoning us because we have autism?
Not everyone’s families are like that thankfully. The world would be a pretty terrible place if everyone’s families ignored them and disowned them because of having an autistic child.
Many families find themselves in a huge predicament when it comes to autism and the holidays. Should they take their children and go be with their families during the holidays even though their family might be making fun of their children with autism or should the family abandon their family for the holidays and avoid having to try and deal with the judgmental people in the family who think that children with autism are weird or even evil?
Should children with autism be able to enjoy the holidays with their family without being judged. The answer is always yes but some families are dysfunctional and therefore autistic children are often being misunderstood and left out.
There are several studies that suggest divorce rates among family’s who have an autism diagnosed child are higher than those who have typical children. Autism is a very demanding disorder. It clearly takes away a lot of time that parents spend enjoying one another’s company because they are so focused on taking care of their child as they should be. But when people do not give attention to the romantic relationship they are in like it is needed then people start to fall out of love with each other.
Something a lot of people forget is that being in love is not a complacent thing to do. You can’t just love someone one day and expect the love to always be there without putting some effort into it. It is very important to spend a lot of time and energy on the romantic relationship that you are in and when you have children sometimes that takes away from the time that you are putting into your relationship but then when you have children with autism there are times that it really takes away the amount of time you can enjoy with your romantic partner.
Autism can put a strain on all relationships if we allow it to. The trick is for us to be able to figure out how to cope with autism in ways that it won’t add a burden to our families. We really must reach out for support with autism. Supporting autism is the best way to ensure the relationships we are in our healthy. When we do not get support for autism and we must continually fight the system to get the help we need for our children it becomes very expensive and stressful. All the financial hardship surely adds to the stress of any relationships and when that burden hits hard at home financial issues can lead to disagreements and fighting.
There are many therapies out here for autism that insurance companies ignore. Insurance wants to pay for as little as it can as they do not want to spend any more money than they must. This all ads to stress and this stress can become very magnified during the holiday season.
Support groups are one way for families to gain support not just during the holidays but all year long as well. There are many support groups for autism that are out there it is just a matter of sitting down and finding out which ones are in your area that you should go to. Once you find a support group and get to know everyone in the group to a point in which you are comfortable with them then it is time to open to them and share some of your inner most struggles with autism.
There is a new show on Netflix called Atypical and it examines some of the stress that autism puts on neurotypical relationships from neurotypical parents to a child with autism. The stress is so much that sometimes people tend to run away from it. There are men that have feelings, but they don’t like to admit or talk about their feelings, so they just bottle them all up inside and run away and keep them there.
Sometimes a man will just leave his wife and the child with autism not because he doesn’t love them but more likely because he doesn’t know how to be there for them. This causes him to have a fight or flight response which really hurts the family and in particularly the child with autism.
Autism is not something to run from and it is not something to be ashamed of. It is just a way of life that the person with autism and everyone who loves the person with autism just must really learn how to experience and take it in. There are so many great things that people with autism could do if they just had the right amount of love and the right amount of support. It’s hard to get enough support for autism because there are so many areas that we need support in so in some ways we are always feeling like we need more support. In some cases, we wonder if all the support will ever be enough? I am not sure if it will. We must really work hard to advocate for better services.
One thing is for sure. All people with autism and their family members should always be welcome at the family Thanksgiving and family Christmas meals. We should not shun or punish our families for having a child with autism. Let’s work together to make sure that all people with autism are happy and enjoying every moment of their life.
The answer to the question is yes of course, people with autism and their families should be welcoming to attend holiday meals with their extended family and no family should punish or shun a family with a child with autism.