FestiviTea - Autism and Christmas

I was asked by Sylvia Violet to post a recipe for Christmas on her blog and it got me thinking about something we have in the UK called *The FestiviTea Party*, a fundraising initiative from the National Autistic Society in the UK.

As The National Autistic Society (UK) say – “For most of us the Christmas season is full of fun, laughter and family, but for people with autism it can be a particularly difficult time: they may be confused and frightened by sudden changes of routine, unusual foods and new social activities.”

It seems unreal at times but the things we take for granted that neurotypical (‘normal’) kids can handle impact on autistic kids in different ways. Take, for example, changing lessons in a school day to practise a school play for instance. Or parents watching said play when very often autistic kids don’t want to be looked at. How about a sudden change in food? One day sweets are rationed, the next it seems kids are receiving treats from everyone, everywhere, and chocolate first thing in the morning from an advent calendar is positively encouraged! That confuses the 'normal' kids let alone the ones with issues!

Then...how about the stranger in red who visits you when you are asleep? Try explaining that one to a child who has no concept of Christmas. My son only started to accept Christmas and the man in red at the age of eleven and now one hundred percent expects Santa will be visiting his room. Difficult when Matt doesn’t actually sleep much…

B and Matt
Anyway to me, the point of bringing the FestiviTea to people’s attention isn't the whole fundraising thing, although y’know funds are cool. It’s just an excuse to pass on a few interesting facts that may get people chatting about the Autistic Spectrum.

Did you know?
  • Autism doesn't just affect children. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. 
  • Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school. 
  • Autism is a hidden disability - you can't always tell if someone has it. 
  • Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. 
  • It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. 
  • People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. 
If you want to know more... The National Autistic Society


  1. Hugs to you all - I've sent this to my Facebook and Twitter thingies.

  2. I didn't realize until a few years ago that my dad probably has Asperger's to a certain degree - it made sense of an awful lot of his quirks. And... a certain amount of mine. *sigh*

    May your son have a wonderful and low-stress holiday!