Halloween has always been a bit of a quiet affair for us here.
Until the last year or so Max hasn’t been able to handle going out to halloween parties or guising/trick or treating due to his autism. Zack has always been able to go to school parties, but Max and I tended to stay at home, watching Frankenweenie, Hocus Pocus, Hotel Transylvania and the like. Well, I ended up watching them as he pottered around, but still – the thought was there, right?
Then last year… last year we were invited to a lovely friend’s house for their Halloween party. This friend has a son who’s also on the spectrum and she’s been an awesome support for us, so I felt comfortable trying it out with Max as he knew who would be there and is used to going to their house to hang out.
So we all got dressed up and off we went.
Max had a blast, and managed to handle everything so well! We spent time with our friends, had Ghostbusters playing on the TV and the kids were able to do what they wanted – lets be honest, we all know they mostly played video games while they were there. The joys of tweens!
We stayed for much longer than I’d hoped we’d manage, and had an absolute blast. There’s something so exciting about seeing your child getting to have fun in a situation he’s never been in before when you know just a few months earlier he wouldn’t have been able to cope with it!
It made such a difference for all of us to be able to go to a party together and have fun.
It’s little things like this that autism gets in the way of you see. Max used to find new situations really difficult, he wasn’t good at waiting for anything, or understanding why something wasn’t allowed. This wasn’t helped by his speech issues, meaning he was also unable to communicate how he was feeling without resorting to either crying or lashing out, bless his wee heart.
These days he’s doing much better. In the last year his ability and desire to experience new situations has hugely increased, and as his speech is slowly getting better, he’s able to communicate his wants and needs more carefully.
We’re looking forward to this Halloween. I don’t quite think he’ll understand the concept of guising but we’ll do our best, and Zack is old enough to be going out with his pals now too!
I’m continually in awe at how much Max has progressed over the years.
This is yet another example of a regular family “thing” that I genuinely didn’t ever think we’d be able to do together, so I’m making sure to embrace every moment!