Monday, October 10, 2016

Autism and Holiday Dinners

As I write this, it is the Canadian Thanksgiving. We were blessed to have extended family with us for a delicious turkey dinner. It was an enjoyable time. However, our children with autism did not join us for it.

We did have our children with autism visit this weekend (they live in a group home). They came yesterday and left this morning before the rest of the family arrived for dinner.

We could have had our children with us for the larger dinner. However, larger groups tend to stress them out and it generally makes things difficult. We had a much more pleasant pizza dinner with them last night with just my wife and I and our five children.

It is not that we are embarrassed of our autistic children that we feel pressured to separate these events. Forcing our two children into a stressful situation would not be fair to them.

Why do I share this?

Because most families take it for granted that they can gather for a holiday dinner. Most families have no idea that there is a segment of the population for which this is very difficult.

I share this not to complain. We actually had a nice Thanksgiving, including (especially?) the visit from our children. I share this to spread awareness. Now you know.

Stephen Bedard

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