An autistic child’s view of Santa Clause
Written on 4th Dec 2014 by Alex Lowery
We all know that a lot of children at a fairly young age will believe Santa Clause is a real person, and as a child I was no exception. However, because I was on the autism spectrum, the way I viewed Santa was very different from how a typical child would view him. Today I’m going to be talking about how I viewed Santa Clause when I was young, and how it differed from a typical child’s view.
Now, most people would say Santa is a magical person. They would say that’s the reason why he flies a slay with reindeers every Christmas Eve, delivering gifts to everyone. Also, (I may be mistaken here) I think the majority of children believe in Santa because their parents tell them he’s real, and at such a young age, they’ll just believe it.
As a 4-year old, I didn’t even understand Christmas and the world was to me was a horrifying place. I did begin to believe in Santa as I got older, but I didn’t believe he was magical. I thought the reason why he could fly his sleigh in the sky was because it had an engine that could fly. In the same way that you can fly a plane or helicopter in the sky because of its engine. I assumed the sleigh just had the capability of flying. Also, I liked to think of the elves as just people that live around the North Pole. In the same way that you get Chinese people in China. I just thought people in the North Pole were short with pointy ears. Also, I didn’t really believe in Santa because my parents told me he was real. I believed in Santa because I thought I had seen him one day, when shopping with my parents, I saw a man dressed up as Santa at a pretend sleigh. To me, the beard and costume was enough to convince me he was real. I thought I really had seen him.
I actually remember my parents telling me he wasn’t real and that they put the sweets in my stocking but I didn’t believe them.
Why was this?
I believed in things I could see. I had seen a man with a white beard and Santa costume, so Santa must be real. I hadn’t seen my parents putting out my stocking. I believed Santa was a real person who had an amazing sleigh, not a magical person.
I also believed that the sandman was a real person. I remember being unsure of the cause for sleep in one’s eyes, and then one of my teachers in school told me that the sandman puts sand in your eyes when it’s night time. I pictured a man driving a big lorry full of bags of sand that he put in your eyes while you were asleep.
Because of my literal take on the world, any Santa that was magical or anything like that was too much for me to grasp. It actually took several years for me to even realise that this wasn’t how most people viewed Santa. Even when I realised this wasn’t how most viewed Santa, I actually found the concept of it being magical irritating. But when you think about it, the only way he could exist is through magic in reality, because at the end of the day, no matter how hard one tries, Santa can never be made logical. I would like to see a film made with a Superhero Santa how cool would that be? One theory I came up with is that Santa was one of the wise men who came to see Jesus and some kind of gift made him live longer and he later became Santa Clause. Well it’s as believable as a magic Santa who is all knowing I mean how scary are these lyrics? This sounds more like your worst nightmare!
You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He’s making a list,
And checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!’
Also, below there is a scary version of this song. Feel free to watch. It’s both funny and creepy.
Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on this page are © Alex Lowery Speaks About Autism. Please do not reproduce, modify or use for any purpose without the prior, written consent of the author. If you are interested in using an article on your blog or in your magazine, please contact us.