Utter Autism

October 19, 2015


Already we’re nearing the end of October and it’s time to schedule visits with Adrian for the holidays.

This will be Adrian’s 3rd Thanksgiving and Christmas living at his residential school.  The past two years we’ve had Adrian home for both these holidays.  Christmas seems to work out ok.  Thanksgiving?  Not so much.

I guess a lot of that has to do with the different schedules of these two holidays.  Christmas we always have a big breakfast, clean up and then settle in to open our gifts one by one.  It’s a process that takes a while but Adrian is usually happy to play on the X-box or computer during that time.  He occasionally drops by to see what’s up and we give him a gift or two to open himself.  Then he’s back to his games.  We always make sure he has a new game or movie to open early and the novelty of those keep him occupied.

Contrast that with Thanksgiving.  The main meal is served late in the day.  Unlike the Christmas morning feast, not everything can be make-ahead-and-bake.  Even though my husband handles the turkey and gravy, all the side dishes are mine to prepare.  And it never fails that Adrian is bored and starting to flip out the exact time that I need to finish my part to get dinner on the table.  Last year I anticipated it and prepared almost everything ahead of time… and it was still rough.  Just as everyone is ready to set down to eat, Adrian and I are walking out the door for a ride to calm him down. No one wants to eat without me so it throws everything off.  We eat and around the time dessert is ready to be served I have to take him up and put him in the shower to calm down again.

He doesn’t understand why we can’t go to the mall like we always do on his home visits.  He doesn’t like that all the visitors are taking my attention when he wants it.  He’s bored with all the entertainment choices by the afternoon.  And to make it worse, he really isn’t even into the turkey dinner we’re all trying to enjoy!

So I’ve make the difficult decision to not bring Adrian home for Thanksgiving this year.  I call it a ‘difficult’ decision even though reading through the paragraphs above it seems like the obvious thing to do.  Adrian is my boy and he’s always been with us for Thanksgiving.  It isn’t an easy thing to intentionally change that …even if it is the better choice for us both.

Instead of bringing him home for Thanksgiving this year I’m making plans to take him the weekend afterward.  We’ll go walk his favorite malls and eat his favorite meals – just the two of us.  Just the way he likes it.

And I’ll have a very peaceful, but slightly lonely, Thanksgiving this year.

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