Jump to content
Customer Service
Asperger Experts

Are The Holidays Something You Dread?

Gail Carrier



Are the holidays something you dread?  Maybe it’s too many people, high expectation placed upon you or even worse low expectations?  You’re not alone.

I can tell you that I approach holidays from a very different place now that I know better.  What do I mean by know better?  I mean listening to my own body and being honest about the capacity I have for celebrations, as well as listening to my twins Lillian & Chloe.

Before I understood what Asperger’s/Autism was, I took my daughters behavior personally.  I thought Lillian’s refusal to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma & Grandpa’s was a direct defiant behavior. When she had a meltdown at the dinner, I thought she was trying to make the day about her and get her way to make us go home.  I was wrong!

Lillian’s refusal to go to Thanksgiving dinner was because she knew she would be in a good amount of discomfort. She may not have realized why but she knew it would happen and when it did, she just needed to leave.  The noise of everyone socializing, the smells of all the food, and the expectation that she needed to participate in these conversations was too much.  So yes, she screamed to make it stop and for me to take her to a safe place.  I did not hear or see this at the time and for that I have apologized profusely.

Today we talk about the events that are coming up and build a strategy to make it possible for Lillian and Chloe to be there. I am now okay if being there is not an option.

Each event is different some examples of what we plan for could be a clear exit strategy. Whether this means I or my husband leaves with them or now that they are old enough to Uber home themselves. We see if there might be a quiet room where they could just chill for a little while if they start to have too much stimuli. We have found sometimes when they just remove themselves from the chaos for a little while they are able to return for a bit more time.

Just knowing that there is a plan and that I will listen to Lillian & Chloe has made a world of difference.

Lillian & Chloe were not trying to make the holidays about themselves, in fact it is most likely the opposite.  They did not want to bring attention to the difficult time they were having.

As parents we need to listen to our children.  They are telling you what they need even when they don’t have the words.

Written by Gail Carrier, Founder of OurTism

  • Like 3


Recommended Comments

  • AE Staff
Danny Raede


I'm so glad you came around to the other perspective! One of the biggest (if not the biggest) perspective errors I see parents make is the difference between can't and won't. What you do is almost completely opposite for each, and getting it wrong is disastrous. As you said though, just listen. They are telling you what you need to hear 🙂

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Teresa strengthenourfamily


This is so me. I left early with my 14 yo daughter from Thanksgiving after-dinner socializing because she was “done”.  Compare that to a few days after that when we stayed too long and the nerf dart war the boys were having sent her into overload. 😜

Glad to hear other mommas get it. 

Link to comment
Gail Carrier


Took me a while to get here but life is so much easier when we listen to our kids.


  • Like 1
Link to comment


My son is 30, he hurt me by avoiding our Christmas day completely, my favorite day of the year.   He did have to go to work at 11 am, but I thought he could drop by for just an hour beforehand.  He didn't, and missed seeing family who had driven a long way.  I was angry and hurt.  Only later did I realize it was just too much for him.  He would have been too rushed, even though I thought he had plenty of time.  He wouldn't have been able to adhere to the structure in the morning that is so important to him, even if I don't completely understand it.  He may have been embarrassed because he hadn't bought gifts for anyone.  I need to remember even if life isn't always overwhelming for ME, it is very overwhelming for HIM frequently.  It's hard to remember many things he does are NOT out of selfishness, but out of being overwhelmed by just everyday life, and his simply trying to survive emotionally.

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recent Product Reviews

    • Deep Into Defense Mode
      I purchased one of your programs a couple of years ago.  Very helpful advice/information. I  really
      By Guest Yolanda Flanagan,
    • The Accountability Plan
      I recommend every parent bundle this course, if your child is willing. I took this course in su
      By Janet Jones,
    • Breaking Free
      Breaking Free
      This is a good course for anyone interested in being less stressed in day to day life.   
      By Ryan Jones,
    • The Accountability Plan
      Thank you so much for the Accountability Plan course. I am really happy I signed up and it was a per
      By Susie Murray,
    • AE+ - Social & Support Club
      AE has completely changed my perspective. After receiving my son’s diagnosis, I wasn’t sure what our
      By Miranda Reynolds,
  • Create New...
1425 Broadway #26970
Seattle, WA 98122
Logo, Website & Content Copyright 2021 © Asperger Experts LLC | User Contributions Licensed Under Creative Commons