Holidays can be hard for children with Autism. They turn their predictable and scheduled lives upside down, and they most often include a bombardment on their senses. Halloween is probably at the top of the list for difficult holidays.
Even though I know it is hard on our boys (Josiah in particular), I still want them included and involved. I want the pictures with them all dressed up, and I want them to want to go trick or treating. I want them to be wowed and amazed and excited like other children. We had never been successful with going trick or treating until this year.
Jeremy and I invited some very close friends of ours over with their two daughters, and we invited Rachel who is the boy’s developmental therapist and her three children. The Mamas took all ten children around the neighborhood. I pulled Josiah and Jalen around in the wagon, and planned for someone else to collect their candy at each house. My assumption was that Josiah would be apprehensive going to strange houses at night, and that Jalen would most likely be indifferent.
To my surprise and joy, this wasn’t the case. Jalen was content to walk with Miss Casey to each door, and Josiah was excited to jump out of the wagon to get candy. We made it all the way down the street and visited around ten houses. I had to high-tail it back home once Josiah decided he was done, but we did it and it was great. The Daddy’s took the older kids back out for more candy gathering, and Casey, Rachel, and myself worked on getting the younger kiddos settled.
I don’t want to live in fear of meltdowns and failed attempts when trying new things with our boys. Trick or Treating 2011 was a success, but, even if it had been disastrous, at least we gave our boys the opportunity to succeed.