Journey of a Mom of two amazing children on the spectrum
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
As with almost everything in our lives, I look at Halloween this year, take a deep breath and think- so. much. better. Than ever, but especially better than last year. This time last year I'll be honest, John and I weren't speaking. Nate was going downhill pretty rapidly and spent most of Halloween screaming. At one point that day a relative turned to me and asked if he was EVER happy. That stung. But it was true- he was so clearly distressed and we just didn't know yet how to help him. Like I said- this year- so much better.
What did we do differently? Well, for one, my expectations were completely different. One of my favorite quotes, which has taken on a whole new meaning these days is "Nothing breeds gratitude like lowered expectations." Except I would reword it slightly and say altered expectations. Not necessarily lower. I just took the attitude that anything we were able to do with Nate would have to be enough. Our children our very very loved and had all of their grandparents appear to go trick or treating this evening along with one of mommy's best friends and her family. So there were plenty of hands- if I had to take Nate home, Jack would definitely not miss out. Other adjustments- I didn't get what one would consider a "real" costume for him- I found an owl winter hat and cape on etsy.com and he wore that. He can wear the hat all winter so that's a plus. Also, it wasn't uncomfortable, didn't feel cumbersome or odd to him. This worked out well, and he wore the costume all evening without complaint. I also took him in the stroller, he feels more secure in it than in the wagon we used to take. And I brought him chex cereal, his current favorite to munch on. He made it the WHOLE way with the bigger kids. We didn't take him to more than maybe two doors- He doesn't like the constant transitioning, so he hung back with the grown ups for the most part. My goal was for him to be out with us, able to observe what he wanted to, and feel protected and secure. And I think we made that happen.
Jack is a whole other ball of wax. He wanted to be Wall-E, for the second year in a row. We had the premade Wall-E costume last year and had superglued the goggles back together at least twice before he ever went out to trick or treat. So I decided to upgrade the costume a bit- I made new goggles and I made him "treads" which were basically corrugated laptop packing material spray painted silver and tied on with elastic string- Jack LOVED it!!! He is sleeping with the whole get-up on his bedside table tonight. He had his issues during the whole experience- he had major anxiety and had the occasional slip of the bad word or freak out. He did better as time went on and by the end of the evening was doing very well. He has a "script" that he used every time someone answered their door- do you know who I am, do you like my wall-e goggles, his eyes look a little sad huh? He tries so hard, my little love.
The best part of the evening was being surrounded by family and friends. Both grandmoms came trick or treating, and my friend Helen, her husband and her daughter Lila came with us as well. It was lots of fun!
Another victory for our family! Happy Halloween everyone!