As I said in my previous blog post, this Christmas will be totally different to accommodate Grace’s needs.
I tried Grace with something new this year – a pantomime! It was based at her school and was an amazing sensory pantomime performed by a fabulous charity called Head 2 Head Sensory Theatre. At first, Grace was SO confused why she was at her school on a Saturday, in her own clothes and why I was in her school too. It started off a little rough – she refused to go past the reception, kicked out at the headteacher and repeatedly shouted ‘No!’. Eventually, we got her in, and instead of playing in the sensory room while we waited, we went straight to the hall to get her settled before it got too busy. In true Grace style, she found the only chair with cushioned backing and made herself comfy there. The Head 2 Head team were incredible and made it feel such a ‘normal’ family experience.
It’s very likely I will not be wrapping Grace’s presents for her – she hate’s unwrapping them and from what I can gather, cannot understand the point in wrapping them in the first place. Which is absolutely fine, she can enjoy her toys visually, without wrapping and packaging and judge whether she wants to explore them at that point.
It’s very clear to us that Grace will not be eating a Christmas dinner – she doesn’t like any of the ingredients and much prefers finger food anyway. It’s more than likely that Grace will have a bagel, pate/smoked salmon, some crisps and some other picky foods. As long as she eats, I’m happy! We go through hunger strikes all the time, so making sure Grace goes to bed on a full stomach is my main concern over her eating habits right now.
We will probably be having family get togethers at some point over the festive period, but this time I really will aim to be more positive and easy going as opposed to last year. I will be prepped with things I know will keep Grace calm – her tablet, ear defenders, dolly and fidgets. Since Grace has started school, she definitely has become more confident around people, so I’m sure it’ll be absolutely fine.
We will be spending Christmas at my mums and then seeing Nicks mum over the festive period too. Both Grandparents know the importance of giving Grace her space and they are amazing at doing so – she needs that time to relax her mind and decompress, she hates having people around her when she needs this, including me. She just needs some time to sit in bed, either stim or watch her tablet and just chill. When she’s ready, she comes back to join us.
Fingers crossed Grace enjoys this Christmas, but I will update you all in the New Year on how we get on.