Last year, I coached my son for weeks before Halloween. Walking him through how to walk up a sidewalk, up the stairs to the front door, knock on the door, say “Trick or Treat”, hold his bag out, say “Thank you”, turn around, walk back down the stairs, walk along the sidewalk….and repeat. This year, someone around us mentioned the word Halloween a few weeks ago, and my son immediately responded by saying “Trick or Treat”. I was pleasantly surprised.
Halloween day was really busy this year! Between my man and I, we have 3 kids, which meant 3 different Halloween parades at 3 different times, on opposite ends of town. My son‘s IBI therapy‘s Halloween parade around their buildings, going Trick or Treating to other departments in the area. When we got there, was surprised to see him in a matching Crayon costume to his therapists. His Spiderman costume hadn’t felt “right” for him that day so they improvised. I was so proud to watch him interact with his therapists, his friends in IBI, other people in the departments (especially the ones who were dressed up too!). He went between me and his therapist, and whenever he was holding his therapist’s hand, he would say “Mommy” and make sure I was right nearby.
That night, we went out with our party of 6 kids and 3 grownups. My son went up to each house while I watched from the sidewalk, would say “Trick or Treat” and/or “Thank you” the majority of times, completely unprompted. He waited his turn when he was there with other kids. He even sometimes checked out the bowl of candy to see if there were other things he preferred but never just took other candy unless the grownups told him it was ok. Some houses had fog machines and the grownups there thought he was the cutest little Crayon while he played with the fog.
He and I were slower than the rest of our party but I couldn’t have been more proud! My man would let us catch up with the rest of the party sometimes, only to find me with tears in my eyes…each time telling him that they were happy tears. My son was doing it! Autism took a backseat and let my son just be a kid, participating with all the other kids.
My daughter was her usual happy, cheerful self. She was independent, straight-forward, polite and thankful to each and every house. I was so proud to watch her have a great time with the rest of our party, showing off her Batgirl costume that my man had sewn for her…if I had made it for her, she would have been covered in safety pins and/or iron-on tape! Thank goodness my man can sew! 😉