I don’t know if Christos knows what Halloween is.
My mum dressed him up for it – when he let her. One year he was Superman, but my mum found this picture – from when he dressed up as Woody. She said that it was amazing that he even let her take this picture – a full one was out of the question. He used to love picture when he was little – a poser. As he grew up though he develop this attitude of not wanting to have any pictures of himself. He would make us delete them as soon as we took them. He was so self-concious.
This was 2010, before he outgrew us all. Mum took him to a parade in Cyprus and she said that he enjoyed it. He liked being dressed up as Woody the most. Toy Story was one of his favourite animation films. We watched it over and over and over, knew all the words – Toy story 2 was his favourite. I remember him asking to watch it and hiding when Sid would come up he would hide. He still hides, also when the hyenas are on screen during the Lion King, then Jafar turns into a snake, when Frollo falls off Notre Dame, when Rasputin falls apart, when Shan Yu pops out of the snow.
Even though he probably doesn’t know why – who does? – he’ll dress up if it’s something he loves. He’ll enjoy the day, every year and know it’s coming. Like his birthday, or Christmas it’s something he will enjoy if we make the effort – if we don’t, he wouldn’t as why we didn’t celebrate.
Mum said he loved the parade, he was smiling the whole time. Was that because he enjoyed the atmosphere or because he got to eat his weekly crisps and drink iced tea? We think the second is probably the hidden agenda, but that he enjoys outings nevertheless. Despite the sensory overload there are moments where he just sits back and takes it all in, he observes, he listens and then we leave.
Mum also said that they had to go ask strangers if they could use their bathroom, and then they left – she still remembers which house.
Halloween can be hard for children on the spectrum. The scary masks, the fabric of a costume, the noise of a toy gun, the colours. So be aware, be careful. Make it easy to be included, make it easy for them to adjust.
Autism Canada was distributing these stickers for you to use when trick or treating – bit.ly/1kMgUAT They shouldn’t miss out on social events just because it’s ‘difficult’ to explain.
The Mighty on Halloween and Autism Can Be Scary