APE – the Asperger Parenting Experience

The Life and Times of one Asperger Parent

Asperger’s Syndrome vs. Santa Claus

Posted by Patrick on 17 December 2007

Before I begin this post, I’d like to first state my personal position on this topic. I teach my children an appropriate, truthful representation of how to think of Santa Claus; both my AS son and my younger son alike hear the same story. In my other blog, I go on a somewhat personal rant about this very topic.

Now, my AS son is 4 and this is the holiday season where millions of children are anxiously awaiting a visit from Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, or whatever name he may go by in other countries around the world. Natually, my son is anxiously awaiting a similar thing, but only because he hears it at school, and what he hears at school differs from what I teach him at home. So there’s confusion with him, and as AS parents we know that confusion is not a good thing for our children.

Every time we go shopping somewhere, there is a “mall santa” waiting to have pictures taken with all the sniveling kids in line with their soccer mom mothers drinking a mocha soy chai latte on their cell phones in their bone-white-goose-down vests with the faux-fur lined knee-high snow boots and completely oblivious to the fact that their kids are ripping up the fake landscape. My AS son always says, “What are they doing?” to which I always answer, “They are telling their children that they don’t care about them.” And my AS son always looks like he doesn’t understand, but I know he does. He’s not tempted to go sit in the lap of some old, fat codger because he knows a different version of the Santa Claus legend. If he ever asks me who the person they’re waiting to see is, I say that someone “who represents Santa Claus for children to give their wishes to”.

See, I believe deceit is something which children do not forgive so easily. What’s more is that AS children may not have the ability to forgive – this is my son in some ways. Memory like an elephant, he will never forget situations where the expected outcome was not what he expected or if he was surprised [startled] while we were out. He is still talking about a visit to the zoo 2 summers ago (he was barely 3) where a roaming goose snapped at his hand for offering it a peanut.

Ultimately, many AS parents are often wondering the same thing with their young children; do we tell them a story about Santa Claus which may make them happy for right now but we know will devastate them later? Or, do we tell them the truth and spin the truth in a positive manner so that everyone is happy? For me, there isn’t much of a choice.

What is your Santa Claus story?


One Response to “Asperger’s Syndrome vs. Santa Claus”

  1. […] always been honest about Santa and I’ve tried to be honest about the Tooth Fairy and fairies in general, but Annie is not […]

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