This is part three of three of my blog series about the holidays...
Before I start, I would just like to wish all of my viewers a happy and healthy holiday season! This post is going to be talking mostly about Hanukkah and Christmas. Personally, I am Jewish and therefore my family and I celebrate Hanukkah. The majority of the troubles that I have during this holiday season also overlap with Thanksgiving. If you would like to refer back to my Thanksgiving blog post, please do so by clicking here.
One of the things that I had the most challenges with as a young kid was dealing with presents and social faking. Don’t get me wrong, I love to get presents just like any other kid. But especially when I was really young, I had a few issues. First of all, before I knew how to social fake, I would often say that I didn’t like the presents that I got. If someone got me clothes that I didn’t want or a toy that I wasn’t interested in or didn’t ask for, I would say that I didn’t want it or that I didn’t ask for it. My mom would say out loud, “Ethan, remember that this is the toy that you looked at in the magazine” or “This is from that show that you like to watch.” It wasn’t that I didn’t like it but that I was often confused at first of why I even got the particular gift. It also took me time to warm up to new gifts, so my parents would slowly introduce me to new items until I began to like them.
Another challenge is that I still have trouble making a wish list for presents. I don’t want and have never wanted presents that a neurotypical boy would ask for. I never wanted video games, sports equipment, or the newest style of clothes. I just was never interested in those things. However, I was interested in my hyper focuses. If you don’t remember what a hyper focus is, check out my post here. So, I always asked for presents surrounding these hyper focuses. These presents included first aid supplies, business materials, security alarms, etc. And yes, you read that right… I asked my family to buy me trauma first aid kits and high tech house security alarms.
Another thing that I had trouble with was saying to other kids, “Santa isn’t real!” My mom and dad made the mistake of telling me that Santa wasn’t real when I was young. With my new found knowledge, I felt like I had the obligation to tell my whole kindergarten class that Santa was a fantasy and that their parents had been lying to them. As you can imagine, that didn’t turn out too well. My parents then had the long talk with me about why I needed to keep things like that a secret. That also didn’t seem to work because years later when I learned that the tooth fairy wasn’t real, the whole nightmare repeated. I'm not great at generalizing and I never realized that other parents haven’t told their kids this and therefore I can’t tell them either. I thought that I was doing the right thing by telling them the truth!
Lastly, I still have issues fighting with my little brother while playing dreidel. If you don’t know what dreidel is, it’s a Jewish game played during Hanukkah where you have the chance to win (and lose) a lot of chocolate coins. A game of probability turned into a source of major conflict for my brother and I. My parents have had to constantly break up arguments between the two of us and they even had to sit there and supervise us many times. My mom worked with me on my social skills during this game, like how to be a gracious winner and a good loser.
These are some of the issues that I have had during past holiday seasons. Please comment below, privately email me, or direct message me through one of my social media accounts if you have any questions relating to the holidays that I haven’t mentioned in this post. Once again, have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!
On December 7th I spoke to the Introduction To Psychology class at San Dieguito Academy. I talked about “My Life With Autism” which included my personal experiences, Autism acceptance, stigmas, treatments, and diagnoses. I also have more exciting news! About a week ago, I was invited (and have since accepted) to speak at the Empower Autism Conference in Asheville, North Carolina this upcoming April, 2018! If you would like more information on the conference, please click here.
On a sadder note, I have been receiving dozens of spam comments on my blog. These comments are advertising services of different herbal medicine specialists. Some of these comments also talk about how their loved ones had Autism, then got this herb treatment, and are now Autism-free. Because of the multiple comments like these that I’ve received, I have had to start moderating my comments. This is not something that I want to do but I do not want all of this spam material on my blog. The commenting feature will still be available like usual. The only difference is that your comment will not go live until I approve it. I check my email many times throughout the day so please know that if your comment is not an ad, I will make it go live as soon as I see it. Even with this recent event, I encourage all of you to keep commenting. When I see your comments, they make my day! I also know that many of my viewers benefit from these comments as well. So please, keep them coming!