Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holidays Can Be Overwhelming For Children With Autism

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Kate Skinner glows with pride when talking about her 10-year-old son, Mathieu, an aspiring filmmaker and inventor who can't wait for Christmas.
Skinner recounts her son busting out with phrases like "'Mom, I love you so much, I'm so glad it's Christmas,'" she said. Or, "I'm going to make you something for Christmas, I don't know what it is yet.'"
Mathieu has autism and can become overwhelmed during the holidays.
"Everything is different, the schedule changes, the expectations change," Skinner said. "There are new bright shiny things in the house that weren't there before."
The things so many people enjoy about the holidays - vacations, holiday treats, seeing friends and family - can be stressful for kids on the autism spectrum because their normal routine is disrupted, according to Michael Marcin, MD, a psychiatrist specializing in autism spectrum disorders.

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