The holiday season isn't only difficult for ND families due to get togethers, the pressures of complying with "special" days, sensory bombardment, rejection due to behaviour and unsolicited advice, there's also this..
I'm currently seeing post upon post from well intentioned professionals and parenting experts (hate that word because it's rubbish) on what NOT to buy your children for Xmas and guess what it's all about?
Don't buy screens, keep your children off screens, screens cause problems, do your parenting right and set those boundaries, screens are antisocial, screens are mean, screens are the devil.
This is yet another example of neuronormative information that is the tightrope that borderlines on ableism, bullying and harassment.
Don't read the comments.
Autistic folk, we made technology.
Our brains are built for technology.
For many autistic people, screens are soothing, regulating, relaxing and perhaps the only thing we have any control over in our lives currently - particularly children.
Our social networks are often on the other side of those screens, and social networks are 100% valid, real and necessary.
Our supports are on the other side of those screens.
Our learning, our creativity, our engagement and connection with our joy.
Our observation from a safe distance of how our peers connect and engage, so we are able to learn about non autistic social constructs..
Our communication when we are non speaking!
Literally all the things the non autistic world want autistic people to learn are often on the other side of those screens.
It is up to us as a family to decide what is right, what is okay, what fits, and what isn't and doesn't for us and ours.
The beauty of being human is that we are all different.
If screens are an issue because you've decided so, then they're an issue; not because someone who has never met you or your family, does not know and understand autistic identity and culture says so based on neuronormative standards says so.
The idea that our Xmas is second rate because our autistic children don't share the same interests as their non autistic peers is not true.
Don't buy into it.
I wish for you to enjoy your family.
If you stay at home (I am), if you eat white bread sandwiches, if you eat peanut butter out of the jar and all sit in different rooms on technology..
Merry freaking Xmas!
Be well, be merry, be kind and gentle to yourself, but most of all..
Be radically accepting.
Love to you all.
Image credit: Julia Cameron