10 Things I Want to let You Know About Christmas for Our Family

Laura Rutherford by Laura Rutherford Additional Needs

Laura Rutherford

Laura Rutherford

Mum to Brody & Sydney. Inclusion campaigner. Tesco Junior nappy co-creator.

10 Things I Want to let You Know About Christmas for Our Family

1. Guessing what your child wants for Christmas is hard

For those of us who have children who cannot talk or have difficulty communicating, the guesswork each Christmas is hard. We wish our children could let us know what they want and worry about letting them down. Can you imagine what it’s like having a child who is unable to tell you what they truly want? The pressure of getting it right is huge and heavy.

2. We won’t be offended if you buy our kids presents that are aimed at children much younger than them.

It goes without saying, all gifts are appreciated, but we would much rather that you bought a gift that our child could play with than something that might well be ‘age-appropriate, but they cannot use. If in doubt, just ask us.

3. We are tired.

Admittedly, not helped by the dark and colder days, but we are tired. The change of routine and our children being off school coupled with trying to navigate Christmas so that all members of the family are happy is quite frankly, exhausting. You are probably tired too but SEND parents just so happen to take it to another level.

Two children with their Christmas presents

4. Our children might be older, but please bear in mind that they might still *believe*

The big, white-bearded man in the red suit might be a regular visitor to our home for years to come. He’s quite possibly a forever thing.

5. We make our own Christmas traditions and that’s okay.

Our Christmas might look different to yours as we’ve learned along the way that we need to make our own traditions and you know what? That’s okay. We recommend that everyone does the same.

Two children looking at toys in a living room

6. We eat what we want.

Speaking of traditions, maybe a turkey doesn’t feature at our table. Maybe everyone has a completely different meal. Maybe foods that feature ordinarily still feature on our Christmas day. It’s no big deal, we just eat what we want.

7. Our friend the ‘iPad’ may well be a big part of our day

Whether it’s for entertainment, distraction, communication or comfort, our child might be using their tablet or iPad a lot during the festive period, and we don’t mind, so you shouldn’t either.

8. Our child might not open their presents straight-away

Some children become overwhelmed with presents or simply aren’t as interested as other children in receiving them. Please don’t take this the wrong way. We appreciate your kindness, and the present will be opened in good time, at our own pace.

A child with green Christmas tree glasses

9. We really appreciate the family and friends who stick with us and support us

To those of you who stick around, understand and support us, particularly during the holidays, we might not say it often enough but thank you. We love and appreciate you more than you could ever know.

10. We have to do ‘whatever works’ – it’s our motto and it’s a must - please don’t take it personally.

Our child’s needs and happiness are paramount, and this means we live by the motto ‘whatever works’ 24/7, 365 days a year – including Christmas day. Sorry if this means we can’t have Christmas dinner at your house or go to a festive event with you, but please understand that we need to do what works for our family.

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