I know that a lot of you find this time of year just as hard as I do. When I say this time of year I mean from around the start of December well in to January. For those two months we go back and forth between holidays. There is so much change. We change everything: what we eat, what we drink, what time we go to bed, how our homes look with decorations, and the Christmas tree. And even if we don’t change these things we can’t do anything about school’s or places of work being closed, or everything else looking different. And then at the end of this, just when things are starting to return to normal, we have a another huge change – that of one year going in to the next.
While in truth nothing really changes as the year moves on, it still feels like a big change. What I mean is that normal routines are resumed in January, but due to the concept of it being a new year it still feels like there has been a huge change. But the change that I, and I am sure a lot of other autistic people find hard to take, is that of going from Christmas back to normal. Of course the change into Christmas is hard, very hard for a lot of people. It is one or two weeks of the year where everything changes. But with all this there is something to look forward to for a lot of people. Even though I find the change hard I still love Christmas time. But when it comes to changing back there is not often much to look forward to.
Yes the pull of getting back to an old routine can be good, but when I spoke to other autistic people they made the point that in the holidays you can make your own routine instead of having to work to a routine set by school or work. And I do find that this is true. When I was at college and had to be up at six in the morning to sit through a day of IT, I hated the idea of going back to my routine.
I think this really is something that is different for everyone. Some people will be glad not to have to plan their own days out anymore, and to be able to get back to a set routine. But others will be unhappy at the loss of freedom over their routine. Whatever you feel though the chances are that for a quite a large part of a January, if you are autistic, you will find it hard to deal with the changes taking place, even if they are positive ones for you. It is important not to just plan on how to deal with the change in to Christmas, but also to adapt the plans and techniques that you use to help you change back at the end of the holidays.
I have always found transition hard to deal with, just like a lot of autistic people. Because of this when I was younger my Mum came up with techniques to help me cope with transition and change. Some of these relate to changes from Christmas/New Year back to normal, and details of these and other changes can be found in our book Helping children with Autism Spectrum Conditions through everyday transitions. http://www.jkp.com/uk/helping-children-with-autism-spectrum-conditions-through-everyday-transitions.html
If you need any more help or advice about Asperger`s/Autism or simply want to talk about it check out our free help and advice service ASK-PERGERS?
And have a look at our books (at the time published under pseudonyms, but we did write them trust us on that!) http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/author/1762