I'm a parent of an autistic adult. My son, Nathaniel, was diagnosed around 3 years of age (he's now in his 30's), but as I look over some family movies (see March 30, 2011 post) I can see that he displayed many of the 10 signs of autism well before then.

His mother and I had only one thing in mind. What do we do?? In the early 80's there was little we could find about autism (no internet - what a lifesaver now!). We had his immediate needs to worry about. Was there a cure? Did he require medication? Childhood education had not yet come to mind. But with time, we needed to find out what resources were available around us.

Planning usually comes late for parents with autistic kids. We (well his mother and I) worried about his immediate needs and not the future. When Nathaniel reached 18, life as an adult posed many questions.

I hope that this can be a place where parents with autistic adults and children can communicate with those of us who have dealt with autistic adults. Yes, there are books and magazine articles about what to expect, and legal advice, but I have yet to find a place where experienced parents can share these experiences, give advice, and help parents of young children cope with the future of their child.

Dec 24, 2010

Having a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve. I sometimes wish I could get into Nathaniel’s head and see what he is thinking. Generally Nathaniel puts the past behind him as if he checks something off his list. But Christmas is different. Nathaniel still fervently believes in Santa Claus and puts up his stocking on Christmas Eve. Although he can't vocalize it, we can tell that he is excited. For one, Nathaniel sweats when he gets excited. He knows it means Santa and “packages” will be under the tree sometime soon. He might equate the reciting of “Twas the Night before Christmas with the coming event, but we’re not sure When Nathaniel was 3 years old (and for every Christmas Eve for the last 28 years) I recited T'was the night before Christmas. On his 4th Christmas he recited it with me. Yes, he remembered the words for a whole year! Pretty good, huh. He does like to look at the lights and, for some reason this year, wants to only watch Christmas movies. And we have lots of them! I have to admit that I get frustrated with him on Christmas day. He likes to unwrap the packages and is not all that interested in what’s inside. The unwrapping usually runs 4 hours; he not only likes to unwrap but also to strip small pieces from the wrapping paper. Very small strips! Well I hope that everyone has a good Christmas. Enjoy your packages.


swandawg88@gmail.com said...


My son is 22 and a non verbal autistic. Loves the holidays. What did your young man like as far as gifts for Christmas in his early 20's? Yes I'm fishing for ideas LOL.

Have a Merry Christmas


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