A little boy with autism goes to see Santa and tells him about all of the toys on his list. After leaving, he runs back to ask Santa if autism will place him on the naughty list. Santa tells him something incredibly beautiful and simple: It’s ok to be himself. Wow… I don’t think Santa has gone to school to learn about disabilities, ADHD, do you? But he knows about the human spirit, he knows what breaks it, he knows about the beauty of individuality, and he knows about self-esteem.
Santa is said to know a lot of things: he knows when you are sleeping, awake, when you are bad, when you are good. But Santa knows much more that is deeper and affects a child forever.
Can you imagine the power of his words? His mom, as she saw his elated face, broke into tears. We moms hurt when we see our child hurting, when they can not process assignments, when they can not sit still, when they are bullied, when they are failing despite a 504 and an IEP, and when they know they can not measure up to their peers in so many areas. But the impact of Santa telling a child how its ok to be him is so overwhelming when so many try to tell him how to change. Our kids with ADHD in the classroom are not tolerated, are told not to be lazy, are told to try harder, and basically are told of the necessity to change into a better person, one who can operate within the expected box.
I never told my children that there is no Santa. They are 33, 28, 26, and 18. In fact, I also have two grandsons, 3 and 1. I am glad that I steadfastly maintained the need to support the belief of Santa. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well through the man with the red suit. I am so proud of him and the power he has to change a small life and his belief in himself.