Illustrations from an autism mom: Celebrating the holidays with autism

December 12, 2018

The post below is by Lisa Smith, the mother of seven children, two with special needs. Her son Tate has autism. Lisa blogs about her experiences and can be found on Facebook at Quirks and Chaos or at

The preconceived notions about what it would be like to parent this child of mine, and the reality we live, are sometimes so far apart it is mind boggling. I had no idea the kinds of challenges we would face, or the immense joys we would experience. I had no idea that my son would lead me into a community of some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

When I started blogging, I never imagined more than a few dozen people would read what I wrote. I never imagined that I would hear back from hundreds of people and get to share in their joys and frustrations. Life with autism is interesting. Especially, this time of year. 

You might recognize some of these scenarios, as I borrowed many of them from you. Many of these we have experienced right here at the Smith house too. 

Decking the halls can be a bit challenging for some of us.

Decorating the Tree

What can be more fun than Christmas shopping? Actually, almost anything. 


And when you are out shopping, you might have the pleasure of running into a Santa!

Visiting Santa

But no worries, if you do not see Santa, there's always writing to him! We actually have Tate's letter to Santa on the kitchen table right now, ready to mail. Tate told Santa that he NEEDS a lego set that hasn't been made in years. Of course I found it on eBay for four times what it would have cost me originally. But Santa really needs to deliver. 

One year I helped a friend find elevator parts for her son with autism. Elevator Parts. They are his passion. If you think about it, most of us get useless gifts for Christmas. Why should people with autism be any different? People with autism can be hard to shop for sometimes, but they often have no trouble telling us what they really want.

Letter to Santa

Let me finish with one straight from our home. Tate is the tradition enforcer. Sometimes we did not even know we had started some of them, as with many of the other precedents we have accidentally set. Who knew that The Grinch is a Monday movie and Rudolph is only watched on Tuesdays? 


Read more from Lisa and find more illustrations here!

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