Christmas can be a great time of year in particular if your child “gets” Christmas and Santa. I am one of the lucky parents as David loves Christmas and really get the magic. David has a lot of additional needs but his ability to look forward to Christmas is one gift that I appreciate and enjoy each year.

Seeing him track Santa on his phone and opening his presents on Christmas day just gives me a great feeling inside. In the back of my mind I often think that other parents might strongly disagree with me or a profession phycologist would give birth to a Canary if they found out that my 24-year old boy likes to visit Santa every year, David now actually chooses the venue and Santa visits him. I wipe away any negative feelings I have when I see his face light up with the excitement at the joy of the day. Every parent and child are different no matter what the age and I guess we haven’t walked in each other’s shoes and I believe as parents we are all doing our best.

One thing I have been thinking about lately is that fact that if David’s intellectual disability wasn’t so significant then we might not have any Santa and may lose some of that enthusiasm for Christmas. As a mum of course sometimes it can be frustrating to see him trying to achieve simple things and that can be difficult for me and him however like all things in life I try and focus on the positives and the abilities.

I know this time of year can be very hard on lots of our families. Their children might not understand that Christmas is a special day. It’s just another day, at best it might feel like a weekend as they may not be in school but they have no concept of Christmas, Santa, toys, festive celebration and everything that goes with it. But for the parents, they are happy to pass that spirit to the child with the love every parent has for all their children regardless of the child’s response.

I wish I could write something to help those parents but I can’t as like a lot of things I just haven’t experienced it so I really don’t know what to say.

For all our families who have many challenges, I do hope you enjoy Christmas and I trust that you will have something to look forward to each year and a light at the end of the tunnel. Then I hope Christmas 2019 is magical and you appreciate every last minute with your child and family.

Sending you love and energy so we can all face 2020 together.