It’s funny, I gave up on THIS being THE year, years ago, because I accept and understand my son, but, we all have those family members who think that maybe THIS year things will be different, which translates to, HE will be different. If you have one of those family members, feel free to print this out and put it on the table as a sort of placecard for guests.
THIS Thanksgiving won’t be any different than last year because:
1. He still has autism.
2. He has made great strides in sooo.. many areas and we are sooo... proud of him, but, his diet isn’t one of those area.
3. He still has autism.
4. He may now wear khaki pants instead of fleece pants to the Thanksgiving table, but, he still is not putting wet, soggy stuffing in his mouth. Nope, didn’t happen last year, isn’t going to happen this year.
5. He still has autism.
6. I know his diet isn’t great, he knows his diet isn’t great, but, what his brain knows and what his body feels don’t match, and your pumpkin pie isn’t going to sway that connection.
7. He still has autism.
8. We are so proud of all that he has accomplished, both academically and musically this past year, and we know you are too, but, making District Chorus and getting a B in College Prep English won’t make your mashed potatoes any less lumpy to him.
9. He still has autism.
10. Can you believe he went to the Homecoming Dance this year and danced with friends and stayed over an hour?!! Wow, right? Yeah, he has made some gains socially, but, he still isn’t eating “even just a tiny bite” of that turkey.
11. He still has autism.
12. I’m thrilled he filled you in on the upcoming musical he is a part of and I LOVE how grateful you are for getting him to chat with you for a few seconds, but, his sensory system is still so sensitive to different food textures that his taste buds think your cranberry sauce will kill him.
13. He still has autism.
14. I love that you see how hard he is working, how much he has grown and in sooo…many areas, so this year, how about just commenting on all of that, praising him on all he has accomplished so he and I can hold the buts because…
15. He still has autism.
Ryan had autism when he was a picky toddler and he has autism as a teenager and is still just as "picky" when it comes to eating. He is not trying to be difficult, he is not "spoiled", he is autistic and his taste buds don't "feel" food the way yours and mine do.
Some day, my son may try a bite of turkey, some day he may think that the pumpkin pie tastes as good as it smells, but, that will be on his terms if, and when, he is ready. So, I would love it if THIS is the Thanksgiving YOU change so my son doesn't feel like his progress is diminished by the "buts" while you pass him the rolls because he will absolutely eat one of those, no buts about it.