Little Man is in fifth grade, and is three months shy of eleven years old. Big Man and the Princess both figured out Santa in fifth grade. As the youngest sibling, I would have expected him to catch on by now. But he seems to be still fully buying into Santa, and our Elf on the Shelf, Scoutie. Maybe there are advantages to having a high functioning autistic kid….I get to keep Santa around longer than if he were neuro-typical.
I’m ecstatic about this, but at the same time, I’m sad. He’s obsessing. He’s been getting up at 5:30 each morning to go hunt Scoutie down. He’s been writing letter after letter to Santa, and gets upset if Santa doesn’t respond overnight or while he’s at school. I have to be constantly on my game answering his questions and queries about Scoutie and Santa. I don’t know if he knows and is trying not to know, or if he truly still believes. Either way, I’m exhausted. And it’s only December 4th. How long can I possibly keep this up? Thankfully, Big Man and the Princess take great joy in helping out. I’m sad this is one more thing he’s obsessing about. I’m sad that while he can’t wait to see where Scoutie is the next morning, he is anxious about Scoutie watching and reporting back to Santa, as well as having an elf coming and going in his house. And while I’m totally happy to still have Santa as part of our Christmas, I’m sad that it’s probably mostly due to his autism and subsequent younger social/emotional age. Does that make any kind of sense?
I’m in a mom-quandary. I want him to still believe, because I want to keep this magic, and I know once he knows, Christmas will be different around here. But I want him to believe because it’s normal, not a side-effect of his autism. I’m struggling mightily. I know I shouldn’t be. There are seriously MUCH bigger problems in the world. Trust me, I totally get that.
Does your autistic child (if you have one) still believe? Does it cause any anxiety for him or you? How old were your NT kids when they figured it out?