To all the children with autism around the world,
Hi kids, Santa here! I’m writing to you from the North Pole to tell you how excited we are that Christmas is coming! My elves are hard at work making toys, and the reindeer have been preparing for our long trip around the world. I’ve noticed my naughty list is much lighter this year, so I’m sure you have earned a spot on my nice list.
The elves and I are writing to you today to let you know we understand how the holidays can be tough sometimes, especially when it comes to meeting me. Malls can be loud, the crowds can be pushy, and it can be an overwhelming experience. How do I know so much about this? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret…
I have autism, just like you.
When I was younger, the wind blowing in to bring snow for my sleigh to land on made my head spin. The elves practiced carols and sang out to spread Christmas joy, but the loud volume and pitches of their voices made me want to hide under Mrs. Claus’s apron. Whenever the reindeer played their reindeer games, all of the hustle, bustle and excitement overwhelmed me, and I would need to lie down and relax. Even when I would go to malls to see other lovely children, like you, I would feel out of place during the holiday season and never really know why.
As I got older, with the help of my elf family, reindeer friends and, of course, Mrs. Claus, I became more and more comfortable in all of these situations. Sometimes I still have a hard time with these things, and that is OK!…