When it comes to big family dinners, like Christmas dinner for example, my new policy is to dodge as many as possible! Poor Austin does not like it. Too many people, too much noise and not enough room for all that action going on around him. He becomes stimulated and upset. For years and years I would take him to my Dad's place and he would "misbehave" (or so I thought at the time) like crazy! He would be doing laps around the kitchen and living room, jumping on the couch, shouting, sitting upside down (to hide his face from people) ... I could go on and on. I couldn't figure out why he behaved this way. A lot of the kids ran around playing but I didn't feel it was appropriate for my children. I used to be so stressed and used to feel that my Dad must think I am a terrible parent. My son is spoiled! Not so, but I felt like everyone thought I was a bad parent. It was a horrible feeling. :(
Once Austin was diagnosed, we realized that it was all the people and noise that was making him act out of control. He could not verbalize it at the time but he can now. He is doing so much better at family functions but I have modified our visits to accommodate Austin's needs. It works very well and he is happy, the most important thing to me.
This Christmas we told everyone that we would not be attending any dinners because of Austin. Expecting him to sit and behave (which we now know is impossible when he is anywhere too long) is just not fair to him. So, I went on visits alone with Austin (leaving Kaleigh with Daddy) and Daddy also went on visits with Austin (while I stayed with Kaleigh) for only an hour or so. All the visits went quite well and we had a quiet Christmas dinner at home with just my in-laws. Austin had a great day, even greeting people with a handshake at one get together. :) Keeping his visits short and without his little sister (for now) is working well for us. He is doing better all the time and I know in the future we will all be at a table somewhere having turkey and popping open Christmas crackers. Until then, I am enjoying spending as much time with Austin as possible and seeing him laugh and play, all on Christmas Day! :)
*HUGS* to all! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! :)
Up next, a time warp post! :)