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Halloween Should Be National Autism Day! October 31, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, humor, Parenting, special needs.
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Why can’t every day be Halloween?

There is just something magical about Halloween. It’s always been my favorite holiday and it’s obvious that ‘C’ inherited that gene. For the past three Halloweens, it’s really been like a witch cast a freakin spell on ‘C’ and made him typical for the day. The whole day. And night.

Any day of the year, if you ask him what we do on Halloween, he will snap out of whatever he is doing and answer “Go trick-or-treating at Carly’s house!” (his sister’s friend). Halloween can… and has… been used to blackmail him into good behavior for at least a week now. He’s been talking about being the Hulk for weeks. He even put on the horrible hard plastic with flimsy elastic band mask…whose eye holes don’t line up.

I let him go to the party at school and I’m happy to say it went well. I’d gotten the teacher’s assurance that she’d be on him like a hawk.  I gave him a precautionary enzyme, because, well, let’s just say I have trust issues…I spent the entire freakin morning preparing brand new recipes so he’d have new treats there which would be “legal” on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

I found and modified some recipes on the pecanbread website and made him pumpkin-shaped pressed cookies (which I cursed because as they baked and puffed up, the shape looked more like a circle than a pumpkin). So I rolled them and cut them into ghost cookies with raisin eyes and mouths (which I also cursed since I had to keep re-freezing the dough). Then I made mini cupcakes with fake fluff-like frosting in Halloween liners. And I caved in and let him have some blueberries since the enzyme is designed to help him with the phenols/salicylates in the berries and the raisins. Blueberries are his favorite food in the world. They just don’t love him back… Because all the kids were given Clay’s treats too, he didn’t seem so different and he didn’t cry… despite not having those glowing orange cheetos on his plate.

He was so excited to go trick-or-treating after school. We did our neighborhood first then went to Carly’s. All this language came out of nowhere. Mr. Chatty all day.  Mr. Manners too. Lots of unprompted “thank you”s as he left each doorstep (of course, whenever they opened the door he’d state excitedly “I want some!”)  He’d be the first to get to each door out of the pack of 10 kids…so he could ring the doorbell.. one of his favorite old stims. It makes me laugh now to think back on the behavior plans we’d make to get ‘C’ to stop ringing doorbells and opening/closing doors. And then Halloween would come and undo all that work.

Each year on Halloween, ‘C’ gets better at the whole thing. This was the first year ‘C’ didn’t even try to get into someone’s house! (Last year, he made it into 2 houses despite one of us being right there on him!) Talk about progress. He is always the youngest, and the last one standing, and would keep going til midnight if we let him. He is so good about not being able to eat any of his candy–ever–because he never sees anyone else eating theirs. All he knows is that the fun is in the collecting!  He could barely stay awake for his bath tonight. My tub will never be the same…black hair spray and green face makeup. Yikes!

I don’t know if it’s simply that Halloween is a night for craziness, for acting up, for packs of kids running wild in the streets and that’s why ‘C’ fits in so well. Maybe… as the harvest moon shines overhead… the typical kids take a step onto the spectrum with their behavior and ‘C’ takes a step off the spectrum with his… so the gap between the two worlds seems to close for 24 hours?  Does the anonymity of the costume factor in somehow…Is he just not ‘C’ because, well, he’s not ‘C’ on Halloween (i.e. he’s the Hulk)? Did he think in that smart little head of his, “Hey, I’m the Hulk. I’d better get my friggin act together!”? 

Well, whatever is behind the magical transformation of ‘C’ every Halloween, I’m always sad to see it go. Especially since it leaves behind a mountain of candy just waiting to glue itself to my ass. 

So if anyone knows the witch responsible for this spell, please let her know that my soul is indeed for sale. All I ask in return is that it be Halloween every day… Oh, and that all the homes give out MaryJanes.

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