Inadequate Training

So, in light of yesterday’s posting… I think I was fairly clear in what my opinion was.  Certainly, it’s “nice” to get to go out for Halloween and give the Monster the experience, but… where he is now, it’s mostly for making us feel normal, rather than for him to enjoy Halloween.

I got home yesterday from gymnastics to find the wife having prepared the boys’ costumes to go out.  After a few terse words (mostly about how I disagreed entirely with her thought to take them out), we had dinner and went out to a nearby development to go trick-or-treating.halloweenAnd let’s be honest.  The kids are adorable.

But still, the real issue is that the Monster doesn’t “get” Halloween.  We can go over what he’s supposed to do and whatnot, but for the most part, it’s going to be robotic repetition of what we think he should be doing… and hopefully we get the instructions right.

We arrived at the first house, and went over the basic social story of Halloween.  Go up to the door only if there’s a light on (to tell you that someone’s home).  Ring the bell.  Say “Trick-or-treat”.  Take one candy.  Say “Thank you.”  Come back down the walk and repeat.


This neglects the fact that one of the Monster’s favorite things to do is to go ring the bell and then go inside.  So, we arrived at the first house, and he rang the bell… and when the person opened the door, he tried to go inside, and my wife – up at the door with the boys to keep them reined in, while I waited at the end of the walk in case one bolted – managed to keep him from doing so.  This was, therefore, repeated at every single house we got to, until the evening was interrupted by his doing the potty-dance, and our shuttling the kids back to the van so they could get home before he wet himself.

I don’t know, honestly, that a social story would have helped here – he’s not always been receptive to doing what the social story says, and even so, at best he’d be parroting the story to ensure that he’s mindlessly following the ritual.  The more honest answer from my wife afterwards, that she’s concerned about what’s going to happen next year when R does get it and wants to stay out longer, is the bigger issue.. and one that I’m more willing to deal with between now and next year, as we develop the tools to handle the situations.

On a positive note – when the wife showed him the Buzz Lightyear costume for him to wear, he announced “Superhero!” so at least he has some idea of what a costume is…

2 thoughts on “Inadequate Training

  1. I am glad you took him out. Even if he doesn’t understand the Halloween traditions itself, he does understand getting to spend some family time together doing something fun and I think that is what makes Halloween with Asperger children special.

  2. I know it’s hard to imagine now, but I think your son will get it eventually. Took my son a few years (he loves to go into people’s houses too) but he figured it out after awhile. Now he loves it, even though he doesn’t eat any of the candy. Currently, we struggle with people (usually elderly) inviting my son in (!) and then totally ignoring my stated wish that they only give him one piece. (Me: Remember Conor, just one piece of candy! Them: Oh, sweetie, that’s ok, take three. Me: NO! I’m sorry, he’s only allowed one piece of candy. Them: Oh, it’s Halloween, take four. Me: GAAAAAH!!!)

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