Autism during Christmas time is hard. The change in schedules. Large gatherings. Extra noise. Gifts. Lots of stimulation. Over the years of our autism journey, I have expected this difficulty. I prepare for this difficulty. We have learn to adapt and make it work.
What I was not prepared for was how Alyssa was going to struggle with the Christmas activities. The change in routines, people she hasn’t seen in a while (specifically the males), home with Courtney and her noises, and car rides.
Alyssa’s struggles with anxiety continues to increase. We are seeing anxiety attacks that include tears, stomach aches, headaches and difficulty breathing. They are real and they are becoming intense.
Our biggest trigger right now is car rides. She struggles with motion sickness. She now has an intense aversion to the car because car rides make her sick. She fears car rides that take her to some of her favorite places and people. She fears short car rides and long car rides. Even after introducing several remedies, her aversion with car rides intensifies.
Add this aversion to some struggles she has with changes in routines, gatherings, noises on top of the excitement of Christmas? You have one little anxious girl. Watching these panic attacks breaks my heart. I try to calm her while finding ways to come to a compromise so we can still participate in some of the events that happen during this time.
Christmas with autism and anxiety is hard but we will still enjoy the season. Parenting is a never ending learning process. We will continue to learn how to adapt and modify as we go but give nothing but love to our beautiful girls along the way.