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Challenge: Halloween Parade

Autism, trick-or-treating and Halloween

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Every year towards the end of August, I start thinking about what costumes I want the boys to wear for Halloween. Last year, for the third year in the row, I didn’t get my act together in time and I failed to get them both complete costumes. As I scrolled down my feed and saw all the beautifully coordinated Halloween costumes I couldn't help but feel the mom guilt.

I’ve been wondering for a while now why it’s so hard for me to follow through with my costume ideas, and I think I’ve figured it out. Halloween hasn’t been a happy holiday for our family. It’s been another reminder that our family is different. A reminder that we can’t enjoy the things that the majority of families are doing all across America. You see, Charlie is almost 7 and he still doesn’t understand the concept of trick-or-treating, nor does he tolerate wearing costumes. And of course, being nonverbal he can’t say “trick or treat”. Jude still has some sensory issues, and he too would be happier not wearing a costume.

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Making our own tradition

My point is, the boys don’t care about Halloween but I do. I do because I hear from families how much of a blast trick-or-treating is for them. I want to experience that for myself too, and I want to see my kids happily going door-to-door and collecting candy.

But is it what THEY want? No, and deep down I think I know it. I think that’s why I’ve always failed to get the boys their costumes in time. So we'll be celebrating Halloween our own way: eating pizza and watching silly cartoons. Not your traditional Halloween but it’s ours and we’ll be having fun.


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