Flexible Family Festivals
by Lillian Csernica
The pandemic has turned life upside down. All over the world, people must now shelter in place, wear a mask, and endure being cut off from family and friends. The future continues to be uncertain.
What’s more, winter will bring another big challenge with the holiday seasons full of family gatherings, exchanging gifts, lots of noise, lights, and color, and special traditions. During an ordinary year people on the spectrum shy away from such benevolent disruptions. This year has been anything but ordinary with the annual holiday difficulties further complicated by the toll the pandemic is taking on all of us. How much more difficult must it be for the neurodiverse, especially adults and children on the spectrum who might not be able to understand why their personal worlds have changed so drastically.
One of the most important aspects of the holiday season is family tradition. Many cherished traditions may be impossible this year after Public health officials have identified private parties as one of the most dangerous environments for spreading the coronavirus. How can we create alternatives that will become just as meaningful?