Pssstttt... Don't tell Kylie, but Jingles had a little help from one of Santa's helpers to get into place on this particular morning.
Notice his green Grinch pants?? (He's looking a little Grinchy too! but really... he's just trying to get down off our couch without having to file a medical claim)
On this day, Jingles had a note for Kylie. It basically told her that Because she was 5 and because it was December 5th, that she could open door # 5 on our gingerbread house countdown.
I found this gem of a Christmas Countdown in a little shop in Valley Junction several years ago. It was one of those purchases that I put away for "someday when I have a little one"...
Kylie is finally old enough to "get it" and I was SO EXCITED to get it out this year.
I love that it is oversized and that there is lots of space to put things.
This is the tag that is on the back... I thought it was cute.
(you might have to click on the photo for it to be big enough for you to read)
It was so much fun figuring out where each little trinket would fit.
Kylie has just LOVED opening up the little doors each day.
I actually think she enjoys opening the doors more than she likes receiving the presents.
(This is how children with Autism play... instead of rolling the car across the floor, they prefer to turn the car over and spin the wheels instead.) Kylie prefers to open and shut the doors on the gingerbread house.
Sometimes this (a-typical play) makes the holidays really hard as people expect a "reaction" from Kylie like they would from a typical child. Kylie will have a reaction, but it will probably come 2-3 days later.
Kids with Autism take time to warm up to new things. They need repeated exposure in small doses in order for the item to become familiar and less threatening.
While sometimes this is difficult where others are concerned, it is also something that I really treasure about Autism: It forces our family to SLOW DOWN. It gives us the opportunity to really enjoy our surroundings and the events and decor of the holiday season. The "Hustle and Bustle" of the season has been replaced with "Silent Nights" and "All is Calm" - it HAS to be or our family (particularly Kylie) suffers.
Kylie has given us the gift of really experiencing the holiday in a sensory way: Seeing, Listening, Touching, and Enjoying the scents of the season.
Our holidays with a child are very different from how we always envisioned they would be, but we love them just the same, and we love our precious girl even more!
Stay tuned to learn more about our experiences with Jingles, Our Elf on the Shelf (and our experiences with Autism too)!