Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autistic Angel Adventures

Halloween on the Spectrum

Yes it’s that time of year again, Halloween is less than one week away.  Children are getting excited about every aspect of the holiday; carving pumpkins with mom and dad, deciding what costume they want to wear, and looking forward to all the goodies they’ll be getting on this one special night.  But for those who have angels on the spectrum it can be another unpredictable event.  Parents of these
angels usually prepare themselves for all sorts of chaos that could occur.  This can be stressing to many, as the list of issues they may face can be endless.  Many of these children are unable to wear such things as face makeup, masks, or hats due to sensory issues.  That alone can largely narrow down some of your choices in costumes.  There is also the issue of the candy and goodies they receive during the trick or treat adventure.  The average child may get impatient waiting to dive into their loot, but try handling an angel on that topic and it may lead you to a major meltdown!  Trust me, we have had more than our fair share of Halloween meltdowns than we would have liked.  My Blue Eyes is the big challenge on this holiday, yet my Green Eyes is total opposite, and would love it if Halloween happened more often.  But even Green Eyes tells Mommy and Daddy when he’s ready to call a quits to the trick or treat adventure.  So as parents of these angels we must prepare for all of these challenges and more.

So as you prepare for the big night, keep a few things in mind.  No matter how many houses you get to visit, even if it’s only two, that’s an accomplishment to be happy about because most angels have social skills issues.  If they have a meltdown about putting on a costume do something simpler, have a backup plan.  For a boy try a simple cape, a vest with a sheriff star, a fireman jacket or Knights shield to carry (both usually available at the dollar store) a bandanna tied loosely around the neck with jeans and a button down shirt (we did this for a cowboy theme one year when Blue Eyes didn’t want a costume).  For a girl try a dress with perhaps a red cape(little red riding hood doesn’t need a mask or makeup), a white or grey sweat suit and wrap some gauze or kling for a mummy effect, or even butterfly wings and a magic wand to carry(use a wooden spoon decorated with curled ribbons!).  There’s so many possibilities, no costume is supposed to be perfect…it’s supposed to be comfortable and fun for the child.  For those of you who have gotten to know my creative side, I have some pictures of costumes I made when my boys were younger.  This is nothing more than some old pillowcases with arm and neck holes cut out, some  fabric paint, and a mommy who was on a tight budget and time crunch(I hate to admit it but I made these two days before Halloween!) but they were quite a hit that year.  Thanks to my in laws these costumes were turned back into pillow cases for my boys with just a little sewing!

 Aren't they just the cutest costume?  So easy to make and inexpensive!  Note the "NET WT" I painted on each was actually their weight back then!  Back on topic though, when it comes to the goodies, we usually carry an extra bag so their pumpkins aren’t too full at any given time.  This helps so they don’t have too much to carry or too much candy within their reach at all times.  I usually head out the door with a pocket full of lollipops so if they do want some candy it helps alleviate a meltdown until you can sort out their goodies at home later.  If you plan ahead, as most of us try to do, no matter what chaos may occur I hope you can find a way to enjoy some fun with your angels this Halloween.   Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone, see you next time!

Yours Truly,

Heather Joy

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