Easter At Our House

Ann Hickman by Ann Hickman Additional Needs

Ann Hickman

Ann Hickman

Mum to three, special educational needs writer and part-time tutor

Along with chocolate rabbits and Easter Egg hunts in homes and gardens filled with spring flowers and cherry blossom, many families may be heading to a religious service as part of their Easter celebrations this year.

Honestly, we haven’t been to a church service in years.

It’s just too difficult.

With two autistic boys, some ADHD and a five year old girl, our family has almost zero ability to sit still, be quiet or even pay attention.

I get all stressed and it becomes more than a pointless exercise.

David would only want to play with an iPad and neither of the boys take well to others singing.

At least that’s what I thought.

Last year, David’s older autistic brother, Anthony, went to an Easter Service as part of his school day.

Although David goes to an autism unit, Anthony and his sister goes to a church school, so I wasn’t surprised by the idea of his school walking his class down to the local church one morning.

Anthony is helped in school by a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) and at the end of that day when I collected him from class she, told me he’d sat really well in the church.

Additionally, he had been very complimentary about one of the girls in his class who had been singing a hymn solo as part of the service.

I was a bit surprised, Anthony rarely appreciates the talents of others.

So, I asked Anthony about it.

Except he didn’t want to say anything.

“Her singing was just too beautiful mum, I can’t talk about it.”

Anthony, like many people with autism, processes his senses differently to others.

He can’t look at rainbows, some views of the countryside or into jewellery shop windows because the pattern of light and the way he interprets it is effectively overwhelming for him.

It was the same with his class mate and her singing.

It’s as if it literally took his breath away.

We often have music in our home, singing and signing is a great way to get the kids communicating and we all love a good dance especially if it’s to a theme tune that the kids recognise.

But I wonder this year if we’ll be able to play some Easter hymns?

We manage them at Christmas but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how Anthony feels about it.  Perhaps we’ll have some religious singing after all?


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