Today isn’t just any Wednesday, it’s Ash Wednesday, the traditional beginning of Lent. I used to do the whole “giving something up for Lent” thing, but I found that it didn’t help me become more in tune spiritually, or enjoy the spirit of Easter any more, as I was looking forward to getting whatever ‘treat’ I had given up that year. (Granted, this was better than Lent when I was younger and gave up Lima beans or liver which I never liked anyway.) Still, it felt like I was going through the motions. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the concept of 40 Acts – where instead of giving up something for Lent, you take something on. While I’ve moved away from organized religion for the time being, I love this concept of giving of myself for 40 days. I can do that in whatever way I feel is best (though if I’m stuck for ideas the 40 acts website has some), whether that’s helping a friend online, donating to the local food bank, or volunteering at the local thrift store.
One of the most common questions I hear during the holiday season is “How do I teach my child gift etiquette?” Gift giving occasions with kids on the spectrum can be tricky to say the least. Gifts may overwhelm, kids may forget the social niceties we spend all year teaching them causing friends or relatives to get upset when a child forgets to thank them, or worse, is unable to tell one of the social white lies when a gift isn’t quite what was expected. I’ve known more than one child on the spectrum who blurted out “I didn’t want this”, “Yuck”,or “I already have this” when presented with a gift that wasn’t on their radar. I have previously written about buying gifts for kids with special needs so this post is going to focus on ways you can help your child both giving and receiving gifts. [Read more…]