To all the children with autism around the world,
Hi kids, Santa here and 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 have noticed my naughty list is much lighter this year so I am 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 would make my head spin. The elves would be practicing carols and would sing out to spread Christmas joy but the loud volume and pitches of their voice would make me want to hide under Mrs. Clause’s apron, and whenever the reindeer would be playing their reindeer games all of the hustle, bustle, and excitement would overwhelm me and I would need to lay 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 really never know why. As I got older, with the help of my elf family, reindeer friends, and of course Mrs. Clause; 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!
Thanks to all of the supports and training we have had through the years, the elves and I have decided we are prepared to bring a little bit of our North Pole Christmas cheer directly to you! You see, because of my younger days, I’m now going to help host an autism-friendly day for you all to enjoy! My elves will teach you all of the songs they practiced, on the quieter side just for your ears; the elves are also going to show you how they do arts and crafts, North Pole style and finally (and this is MY favorite part) you and I will take a picture together so we can both remember how much fun we had celebrating Christmas.
The elves and I are very excited to meet all of you in person; I can only hope we will be able to host more autism-friendly events for all the children with autism around the world. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
-Written from a child at heart with autism to today’s children with autism-
Merry Christmas Kerry Magro