Why Halloween Doesn’t Make Sense to an Autistic…

bee

In the U.S., Halloween is just the beginning of the end of year holidays that seem to set off the ripple effect of celebrations and parties. As you drive thru neighborhoods you see decorations going up and temporary costume stores popping up everywhere. When our daughter started school we debated on whether or not to dress her up, knowing that finding a costume would be almost impossible. Most princess or super hero costumes are made of frilly polyester and almost all of Elizabeth’s clothes are 100% cotton or a cotton blend, anything different might entail a wrestling match trying to dress her. She knows the difference too! When I introduce a new article of clothing I will tactfully show it to her allowing her feel the fabric, once she is comfortable, I attempt to put it on her. I say attempt because she will usually push it away at least once before allowing me to dress her. Countless times I’ve read that scratchy and silky fabrics feel like ants crawling all over an autistic’s skin so I keep this in mind when shopping, staying away from the “oh-so-cute” costumes available on the market. We got lucky the first year with a soft doable lady bug costume found by ‘chance’ at an outlet store, on our way home from day-tripping. The 2nd year wasn’t so easy. After looking high and low for ANYTHING that might work I settled on a homemade costume made of black clothing and yellow duct tape creating “bumble bee” stripes. I’m sure many thought we couldn’t afford to buy the beautiful Elsa or Ariel costumes that seemed to be so popular that year but looking back I’m proud of my little bumble bee buzzing along in her schools costume parade.

Elizabeth is non-verbal and exclusively fed via g-tube making trick-or-treating senseless for her. We discovered one year that if you don’t say “trick or treat” you don’t get candy so we found ourselves explaining at every candy stop why she wasn’t saying anything. Once folks understood what was happening, they would give her an unusually large amount of candy! As you can imagine, the night ended with a mound of candy Elizabeth couldn’t even eat! My lucky co-workers enjoyed her candy for days on end.

October 31 is just around the corner and I still don’t have a plan on what she will be…. I’m sure something will come to me as I desperately search Pinterest for ideas. I’ve made up my mind to take a sewing class so I can create a suitable costume for my little princess next week.

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