With the holiday season upon us, I can feel the tension and anxiety building all around me. What is everyone worried about? They are dreading visting family.
One of the biggest complaints from those I speak with, is that their extended family doesn’t understand the needs of their child. From sensory issues, to need for routine, predictability, table manners, food choices, and a thousand other things, the holiday season is hard on our kids. And what do us parents want more than anything? Understanding and Support.
Here is my amazing mom’s advice for all of the grandparents (or aunts, uncles, great-grandparents…) out there who struggle to understand what our special kids (and WE as adult children) need from them:
There but for the Grace of Gabe
By Helen Nickelson, proud Grandma of Gabriel, Nicholas and Matthew.
I often wonder what kind of a grandparent I would be if Gabriel wasn’t in my life. Would I be the “perfect” grandparent? Meaning the one who had a preconceived idea of how everything would be. “Perfect” vacations, birthdays, holidays…you know, the ones where the kids, parents, grandparents did whatever they wished, all of the time happy, able to enjoy the adventure of changes in schedules, habits, foods, all the while dressed perfectly, with perfect manners and smiling faces?
Luckily (and I mean that) I’ll never know. Because of Gabriel’s challenges – and now Mathew’s, we are a family affected by SPD, autism and a few other diagnoses. But, my life with my child and her children IS “perfect”; at least perfect by my new definition. …continue reading