Halloween tips?

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Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455
Halloween tips?

I know this board is a little dead at the moment, but I was hoping that some BTDT moms can help me (and others) out.

My DS, Daniel (3.5) loves to dress up in costume (without the mask) and loves to pretend to be a superhero. This year both he and his big brother (whom he idolizes) are dressing up as Spiderman. Daniel is big brother's little shadow, but will not play with other children his age and does not do well with crowds. Last year, for Halloween, we went to a church function and there were a TON of kids from the community and a lot going on and he froze and shut down and we almost had to leave. He wouldn't look anyone in the eye and wouldn't let go of my leg the whole time.

Big Brother wants to go to this church function again this year and I'm worried of Daniel's shutting down again. We have a new walker in the family (Baby Sister turned 1 at the end of August) and she requires just as much close supervision as Daniel. I asked DH to join us this year and he suggested just staying home with Daniel. Problem with that is that Daniel likes to go with Big Brother everywhere he goes and would have a meltdown if he were left behind.

I am also worried that DH will be hard on him if he comes with and sees him shutting down. He still doesn't believe our son might be Autistic. He thinks that half of his fits, meltdowns, and whatever is him playing me. He recognizes that he's not like a "normal" child, but won't accept there might actually be something "special" about him.

Should I push Big Brother to accept trick or treating over the crowd scene? Or should I ask my mom to come with me instead of DH so that she can walk Baby Sister while I walk Daniel around and hope he'll warm up after a while and possibly participate?

IF anyone reads and responds, Thanks in advance.

batbird's picture
Joined: 08/29/06
Posts: 325

I would ask your mom to come with you, while I'm not sure which is better, putting him in a situation that will overstimulate or leaving him with a caregiver that doesn't understand, at least he won't feel left out. What about taking a stroller with you and a larger blanket to place over the canopy in case he gets too overstimulate? Tell him he can be a "ghost." Liam has SPD (no autism) but the crowds are still 50/50 in how he responds. Sometimes, he takes it all in, sometimes, he melts down big time. What are your son's areas that help sooth versus those that seem to trigger more? Liam is sound, touch and vestibular.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

Have you thought about leaving baby sister home with dad? Just a thought, but it seems like that AND your mom would be a good solution Smile

My son Marcus is an aspie, he HATES anything loud and crowded and just shuts down too. As he's gotten older it's gotten better. Instead of basically freaking out with tears and clinging, now he just asks to leave. over and over and over. Then gets frustrated and when that builds up angry. We've learned how to spot it and know his limits. And have lots of backup. We have also learned that doing something that could be on the edge is WAY better when he has his 'own' adult, that has nothing to do but watch him and help him.

Good luck!

Also, when he is old enough to understand, the BEST thing in the world to do is sit and talk to him and ask HIM what would be ok. He will know best what he can handle, and how he'll feel about things. Even though he's young, maybe you should see what he'd have to say about it all?

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

"batbird" wrote:

What are your son's areas that help sooth versus those that seem to trigger more? Liam is sound, touch and vestibular.

Daniel definitely is affected by loud, feelings of falling (will go into more depth in a minute), and kids his age. He is okay with older kids and most adults.

Feeling like he's gonna fall happens when he is picked up by someone, or in a bumper car/boat, in a stroller on uneven ground, in a car going around a corner too fast. If he is not properly buckled into his 5 pt harness booster seat, he'll let you know. He doesn't like being in an insecure situation. Strangely enough, he didn't actually hold on to "you" when picked up until just recently.

"smsturner" wrote:

Have you thought about leaving baby sister home with dad? Just a thought, but it seems like that AND your mom would be a good solution Smile

I have considered leaving her at home.. but I got her a costume already and no-one comes for candy here. There are so few trick-or-treaters here that we can't even give away a small bag of candy.

I definitely think that bringing my mom is the best option. I wish she were up for it. I asked her and she came up with excuses as to why she couldn't do it. Why can't she just say she doesn't want to instead of making me feel less important that the other things she has available to do?! Sad

My husband has a fear the fear out of him approach that I don't like. Kind of like (but not quite as extreme) if you are afraid of snakes, stick your hand in a basket full of them. Face your fear. So if Daniel freaks out when DH picks him up, he jiggles him and jumps and fake drops him and ... you see where this is going. He's slowed down on this a bit because he sees little to no improvement in Daniel's responses. But something like crowds, he just has to learn how to deal with it, and the sooner the better. :/

We still haven't decided what we are going to do, but I can't do it by myself and I don't really want DH to come with me if he's going to mock my attempts to properly care for our son. Sad

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

thought this was relevant. maybe a good plan of action would be to educate your husband?

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

So, we went out to the big church function.

We went later in their time frame so there wouldn't be as many kids. We told him what to expect and what we expected out of him. And I was pleasantly surprised at his behaviour! He was awesome! He got a little shy when we walked in, but we were greeted with candy baskets at the front door and he just followed big brother right to the games and started participating and everything!

:clappy:

Thank you all for the advice!

BTW, DH went with us, not my mom.