Wow! Christmas (all holidays, actually) on the spectrum are "intersting".
Christmas Eve was a complete disaster for AJ. We went to a local restaurant with my family. My sister, her husband, their three kids, assorted boyfriends, and my parents. The restaurant was horrible. The music was too loud (we asked them to turn it down), the flourescent lights were buzzing (they were driving AJ and me nuts - but no one else could hear them). The service was just plain bad. They were soooooo slow. AJ was going nuts waiting for his food. At some point, he just needed to be on my lap. Then he started moaning (which is new).
Finally, the food came. It was awful!!! AJ would not even eat his, and we had to order something different for him (which was only marginally better). Almost everyone else had to send their food back (the meat was barely cooked). Mine was disgusting. There was no way I was going to send it back - that was just make the whole process longer.
AJ and I kept getting up to take walks around the restaurant - that usually distracts him and gets him through the experience. But, then, when it looked like no one would EVER be done, AJ just lost it. He was moaning loudly, and started saying "I just can't do - I can't take anymore). That did it. AJ and I just went to go sit in the lobby. We played tug of war. People stared, people glared, people discussed my child, and my parenting skills. We just played tug of war.
Finally, everyone was ready to go.
We were going to my sister's house for dessert. AJ was up for that. He knew there was going to be presents involved, and chocolate. Even AJ can't resist presents and chocolate!! :-)
That part didn't go too bad. He got one present that he really loved!!! My sister got him a plasma car. Google this. It is so cool. Even I played with this, until AJ wanted it back. It's FUN!!
At home, AJ just could not get to sleep. This produces anxiety for AJ, because he worries that Santa won't come until he's asleep. The anxiety just makes it even harder to sleep. It's a vicious cycle. But, finally, he did get to sleep. Finally. Really, really late. But, Santa understands about insomnia, and came anyway. AJ loved all his presents from Santa, and from us. Yay!!
He got a really awesome electronics kit from Santa. We actually spent some time learning about resistors in series and paralell. He built a circuit to turn on and off an LED. It was so totally cool, and I really had to break out my brain. It was good for me to relearn my circuits, and there are 74 more projects to go! There are home school projects for days!!
We had one week off, which we spent just trying to have fun. Some of it was not so fun. Sometimes anxiety takes over, and AJ has a difficult time dealing with life. Sometimes we have difficult times dealing with life too. The combination is not good. But we muddled through, and managed to have a pretty cool vacation.
Today was our first day of home school. It started out with an IEP meeting at his most recent placement. This meeting was setup before the final decision to home school was made. I started the meeting by letting them know about the decision to home school. They were clearly not thrilled with our decision. But, clearly, what were our choices. After what happened at that school, we did not feel that it was a safe place for him to be, either physically or emotionally.
AJ was soooo easy to teach. Yes, he needs lots of breaks. He needs lots of redirection. He needs visual stimulation. But, he is so eager to learn new things. We did math, spelling, reading, civics, science, and PE. He is even smarter than I thought. He is able to retain anything in his "filing system". Amazing kid, just amazing.
I really think this home school thing is going to work out just fine.