Once upon a time, in a world far away, there lived three young autistic kings. They found the world a daunting place and one they often couldn’t understand. Even though the three autistic kings looked alike they were very different and each liked different things. The autistic kings had trouble with imaginative play and preferred to recreate things, they loved playing Mine Craft as they could create and build cities that they had seen on their various journeys.

The three autistic kings liked order and routine and so found celebrations like Christmas quite stressful as everything around them changed! Castles across the land were decorated inside and out - King Luke found this very silly - whoever heard of trees being inside!?
King Luke recalled the time when his mother put a Christmas tree in their castle, he thought the idea was preposterous and was determined to take the tree out of the castle. So every time his mother decorated the tree he would take all the decorations off and pull the tree down. Eventually, his wise mother decided to put their Christmas tree outside where it made better sense to King Luke.

The following Christmas his wise mother thought she would try something different. Instead, she filled the castle with lights by putting them on the ceilings. King Luke enjoyed looking at the pretty lights flashing and flickering and would sit for hours just watching the lights change colour, it was as if they were dancing.

King Zak was the youngest of the family and never really understood the notion of Christmas, he had heard stories of how Christmas begun with Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem and how Jesus was born in a stable. But to King Zak, these were only stories.

As for Father Christmas King Zac had seen him in films but who was he and why did he go into people’s houses – that seemed strange!? He couldn't understand why? At knight school he met a man dressed in red, who was he? Why was everywhere he looked decorated? What was Christmas? And why was everyone so excited?

King John wasn't like his brothers; he loved Christmas and everything to do with it. Every year he would get extremely excited and would sit and countdown the days until the big one arrived. King John loved everything to do with Christmas, it wasn't just about receiving presents, he loved the castle being decorated and would have kept the decorations up all year round if he were the only one in charge!
His wise mother decided to leave some of the Christmas lights in the castle, which King John loved. And like King Luke, King John would sit for hours watching the lights dancing on the ceiling. But the excitement of Christmas became too much for King John, it was a sensory overload and he struggled with his emotions. So much was happening.

To help try and keep the castle a calm place to live the King's wise mother and oldest sister would sit and read books to the Three Autistic Kings. The Kings didn't have bedtime stories as the idea seemed very silly to them. Instead, their wise mother would run a reading club at the castle every night at 5pm. Each King would take it in turns to read their reading books from knight school. Some nights their mother might read to them. King Zak's favourite story was Goldilocks and Three Bears and he would love joining in with the story.

As the Three Autistic Kings grew older they began to realise that Christmas meant different things to different people. Some people enjoyed Christmas but some found it too much like hard work! Everyone was different. Just like reading, everyone loves different types of books and stories. It is the same with children, adults and even Kings with autism - everyone is unique.

Spectrum of Life blog
Written by Wendy Hirst, founder of Spectrum of Life, Wendy is mum to two boys, both with autism and two girls, one with autism and also diagnosed with ADHD. Spectrum of Life is a heartfelt, personal blog of the struggles and triumphs Wendy and her family encounter.