My company does a lot for Halloween every year. It’s our eVP’s favorite holiday – back when we were more concentrated in one spot, there was massive decorating of our areas, trick-or-treating in the office, things like that. Since we got bigger, the celebration got moved out to a central location (though we’ll still have something in the office tomorrow – pizza and beer, though I’m missing the beer due to scheduling). This year, our party was at The Cloisters, which is really just around the corner from our house.
For Trunk or Treat on Saturday, the Monster was a pirate – today, he was a cowboy to go along with R. (Frankly, it’s an easier costume that has him fidgeting with it a heck of a lot less.) But the fact of the matter is, he still really doesn’t ‘get’ Halloween.
Oh, sure, he figured out the trick-or-treating thing easily enough, and with just a bit of coaxing and monitoring, he was good about only taking one piece of candy at each station.
On the other hand, the Autism affects him in interesting ways. He’s really oblivious to creepy characters around his environment. A mad scientist who was trying – hard – to get a reaction out of him was rather stymied at the fact that he wasn’t biting, and a witch who was handing out bags to the kids got minimal reactions from him at first. He didn’t quite know what to make of a pair of zombies who approached him. (Which says bad things for when the zombie apocalypse actually happens.) He loved an actor in a suit of armor who was holding still and only reacting when the Monster reached out to touch him.
R, on the other hand, was being very hesitant about everything. The mad scientist really scared him, actually, and he was skittering away from the zombies. He didn’t want to go near a few candy bowls because of the fake spider-webs. Basically, normal 2-3 year old behavior.
The highlight for me, though, was when the witch who was handing out the trick-or-treat bags as if he liked the song playing and wanted to dance (Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”). So he’s shimmying a little bit, but not really noticeably, when she’s mentioning dancing, so she switches over – based on his costume – to quipping he’d probably prefer to dance to country. And the song shifts to something else, whereupon he starts to jump up and down in place. Says she, “He’s going to be trouble in mosh pits when he’s older.” Yeah, probably, but I’d love for that to be the worst of my worries at eighteen.
Now if I could just get him to react more appropriately in a social sense at these things, it’d be great.