Is Christmas time a difficult time for any other mother of a child with special needs?

LaTonya - posted on 12/26/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son was born December 21, 1999 and Christmas time has not been the same since. He has a closet full of toys, trucks, gadgets, etc. that my husband and I have purchased for the last 10 years in hopes that he would someday play or interact with them. It has not happened yet, and I have given up hope that he ever will. I have to force myself to get excited for my daughter during this time of year. It's very tough to celebrate his birthday and Christmas every year.



I am not trying to have a pity party, but my heart is just heavy.



LaTonya

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Melanie - posted on 12/28/2009

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totally understand our son just holds things instead of acutally playing with them. His birthday was ok we staggered it a bit. But xmas was a nightmare i have a 6yr old so she was really excited and our son jsut felt overwhelmed and spent the afternoon crying and in a very bad mood. I think it's hard because i see my daughter enjoying things and my son just looks at them and goes on to the next thing without actually taking anything in. It's difficult for us mums esp when we have normal children to compare to. xmas is special time for children. for us it's really about trial and error, trying to get the balance right so we don't upset our son but at the same time still making it special for our daughter. It's heartbreaking when they don't understand and seem clueless. I wish i had the answers for you but it's a journey we all have to make on our own with lots of hiccups along the way xx

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Patty - posted on 01/12/2010

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It's not a pity party to want to know you are not alone. My daughter gets anxious everytime someone changes her schedule or if she is surrounded by excited people. Instead of making her birthday a hectic issue we get her one gift she likes and let her hide in her room holding it (sometimes ripping off it's head). Christmas is worse. After spending a week out of school she is already on a rampage and we drive to my mothers house for the weekend changing her surroundings more. This is the only time of year I use her sleeping pills. I have learned to make the holidays a way for the family to have their joy and let Adale enjoy the holidays in her own way. She needs the consisitancy that tomorrow is the same as today and if that is what makes her happy why upset it more than I have to.

Christine - posted on 01/08/2010

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I too have so much trouble with this my son is 25 but love the young toys we have to spend time in the toy isle at all the stores looking at them. He has many things however each year I sadly wish he did not still believe so I did not have to spend money on the santa game just putting things under the tree. It would be much easier if we could just do l or 2 gifts from mom and dad. He enjoys everything but then looses attentioni and never "plays"
I am looking for older aged special needs families to help and share with what to do when you have a older child that in still young at heart

Nicky - posted on 12/31/2009

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hi latonya, ihave a five year old boy with autism who acted the same way for the first 3years of his life, its not all bad news he is now a very intelligent little boy who with special guidance and understanding is very happy! i am now going through the same problems with my 3yr old who has been diagnosed too but my daughter who is seven is unaffected . my advice to you is to get your son checked out by a health visiter or doctor who will give you the answers you seek ! best of luck, i'm no doctor but if your son avoids eye contact then it could be autism, best get him checked, and you will get lots of financial help if he is . all the best nicky

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My husband and I feel the same way. My 3 and a half year old does not talk and is hyper active....he prefers his baby brothers toys anyway. This year we just got him one gift. A power wheels....and we are determined to help him figure out how to steer it by Spring so we can get him outside where he loves to be!! :)

Terry - posted on 12/30/2009

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I feel the same way. My daughter is 2 1/2 years old and has CP. She can't sit up or walk or roll over. She can't really do anything. When I go to my brother and sister-in-law's house and see their little girls opening presents and having fun I feel sad because my daughter can't have that. But we just get toys that light up and sing. We use them in her therapy sessions. When she smiles at my I forget the hurt and get happy and Thank God I have her in my life.

Emilie - posted on 12/30/2009

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I'm sorry to say that Christmas is tough for me too. My son is high functioning, but this is a time of year when all the things he can't do become more apparent. I always set aside a few minutes after my son goes to bed a couple of time a week to grieve this time of year. My son is not what I planned for my child. After letting myself grieve that loss, I switch to celebrating his accomplishments. I try to pull out pictures or keepsakes from other Christmases and think about how far we have come. Sometimes, it's the small things - he is still here on earth with me, his smile - sometimes it is bigger. I realized/decided during a particularly difficult time (my son was misdiagnosed with a rare disorder that would kill him before his first birthday) that what really matters isn't my expectations or the world's expectations - what really matters is that my son is happy. Although this time of year, he gets so stressed that even that is tough. Anyway, you are not alone. We all just have to find a way to muddle through the tough stuff. Our kids are worth it. We all know that inside. We are still allowed to have bad days.
Hugs!

Vivienne - posted on 12/29/2009

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hi LaTonya, do you have other children as well? my son was born Sept 24, 1999 and even 10 years of toys and gadgets we hand them dwn to his other two siblings, he tends to play with them wen it sees the light of day. but i guess they do not last long with his constant throwing and hard hitting. He loves music so we just stick to keyboards and instruments along with anyways that plays music. it just keeps him ingrossed and busy..hope that helps.

Lorraine - posted on 12/29/2009

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Hi my son is 24 years old and i still find it very hard at christmas time as i still have to buy toys that you would normally buy for a 5 year old but seeing his face light up when he sees that santa has been, and this year he wanted a rocket and a thomas the tank engine and he was so happy when he got them that he soon put the smile back on my face and i feel so privaliged to have him as my son x

Kelley - posted on 12/29/2009

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My son isnt really interested in his toys either. He will only play with them for a minute or two. He will however try to participate in making large floor puzzles. He is crazy about cows and tractors and this year (he is 41/2) we got him a battery operated John Deere tractor to ride on and I now have the opposite problem. He doesnt want to come in and wants to ride it all the time. If we bring him off it for lunch etc he will throw a temper tantrum. Also I find this xmas has been very difficult because he is acting out with biting/hiting and I think it is due to not being in school and missing that strict routine that he has at school. Challenging all the way. Hang in there and know your not alone.

Carlitta - posted on 12/29/2009

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My son will be nine on 12/31. We continue to buy toys for him even though I know they will get broken because he will through them around and down the stairs. I don't want to give up on the excitement of the Holidays and birthdays for my son. You have to celebrate for them. Be prayerful and show him how to play with the toys! You will enjoy the time spent and your child will play with them even if only for a short period of time. God bless!

Jennifer - posted on 12/28/2009

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I find it very hard as well. My son is 21 months, born with SB and is deaf. He doesn't crawl or sit up on his own, nor play with toys. It's very hard for me to be in the holiday spirit and go shopping and see all these other kids his age having a good time, and interacting. Reality sets in when you see that as a parent, but I try not to give up hope that one day he may do some of the things other children do.

Sheryl - posted on 12/28/2009

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one thing i did do different this yr was let my son open all his presents first then let him take them to his room then did xmas with the others it took the stress off my youngest and the other 2 got the more normal xmas they r used to it was real nice!

Sheryl - posted on 12/28/2009

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I am finding it harder and harder as my son gets older cause he doesn't play with many toys and when he does it for a min. I have found he really likes music and movies so I stuck to that this year and I don't seem to feel as bad cause he actually does something with it.

Anne - posted on 12/27/2009

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sometimes you just have to have a pity party for yourself just to learn to go on with life I've learned that's ok . you have "your" party and learn slowly to come to terms with a part of your life that you cannot control and make lemonade from that experience it's OK to do that>

Stacy - posted on 12/27/2009

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MY SON IS 14 AD I STILL HAVE TO BUY HIM BABY TOYS AS HE LIKES ALL THE BIG AD BULKY TOYS AD ALSO THE BRIGHT LIGHTS THAT COME WITH THEM BUT I BUY HIM A FEW TOYS AD SOME CLOTHES THEN PUT THE REST IN MONEY INTO HIS BANK ACCOUNT AS HE WILL NEED MONEY MORE WHEN HE IS OLDER

Rachel - posted on 12/27/2009

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my son is hearing impaired and we have done the same thing...we tried something different this year and went all music. Some kids with sensory issues and other issues just need to find something that keeps their interest.We as parents think that the newest toys and gadgets is what our kids want and sometimes we just need to get down to the root of our kids and it may be real simple what will interest them and keep their joy. Good luck!

Renata - posted on 12/26/2009

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I understand completely how you feel, my son has bi-polar and severe PTSD and anxiety disorder. He never plays with any of his toys, and I have to deal with him destroying toys and hurting kids this time of the year. I never look forward to this time of year cause his behavior acts up more, because of him being so anxious

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