A family's story

Halloween…Autism style

It’s October. The leaves are coming down, the weather is changing, and no one can escape the abundance of Halloween decor at home, school, and in every single store we visit.

When the month began, we started discussing Halloween. Hubz and I talked about pumpkins, scarecrows, jack-o-lanterns, and trick-or-treating. Jake talked about candy (of course), and spooky decorations, and dressing up. One of Tate’s ABA therapists began reading books and started a social story for him.

A few days into October, Jake declared that he was going to be Heat Blast from BEN 10. (Visit Cartoon Network for more info.) Done! Easy! Cole is going to be a puppy dog or a goldfish…depending on which hand-me-down fits him best. Then it came to Tate. What did he want to be? Did he even get the concept?

Me: Taters, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Tate: Ghost.
Me: well, ghosts are definitely a part of Halloween. Are you sure you don’t want to be something else? SpiderMan? Wubbzy? An Imagination Mover?
Tate: No, ghost. White. Ghost.
Me: Ookaayyyy, ghost it is.

How the heck do I make my kid, the one who can’t stand ANYTHING on his face/head a ghost?! So I thought and thought…and figured that I could get a sheet, cut a hole in it and he can be a ghost..I would paint his face white…it could work.

On Sunday I asked him again…
Me: Tate, do you still want to be a ghost for Halloween?
Tate: No. No want be ghost, either.
Me (insert internal groan): Ok, what do you want to be? What costume would you like?
Tate: Me, I am Tate.

Soooo, my little man is NOT getting the concept. Hubz says to let him go as himself. Really?! Kids are SUPPOSED to want to dress up. It’s FUN! But, again, Tate is supposed to do a lot of things that other kids do…and that doesn’t happen, either. He totally marches to the beat of a different drummer….So, the neighbors may see my 5 y.o. roaming the streets with his ghost bucket in tow, dressed as…himself. Maybe I will let him dress himself that day! (You know, have some fun with it…)

In the meantime, as his teacher, ABA therapists, and speech therapists discuss the Halloween season, I will be feverishly planning a Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D costume…just in case my Taters decides to go as a ghost, or Spiderman, or Imagination Mover….

Life, and Halloween, are never dull when you’re living in “the spectrum”.


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