Monday, November 1, 2010
What I have learned having an Autistic son over holidays
I always thought maybe Owen just didn't want to be involved in certain traditions over certain holidays, and we were alright with this. He never really took to opening gifts at his birthday or Christmas, or sitting for even a second at Thanksgiving, and now, going out for Halloween. I thought out of all the holidays, he would take to Halloween the most. He would get to dress up as his favourite movie character (Aliens from Toy Story), he would get TONS of chocolate, and get to stay up late and be outside! Not so much.
I knew this was going to be a difficult task for us as a family this Halloween, as Owen wanted zero part of his costume... and it all went down hill from there. He wanted no part of handing out candy, knocking on doors for candy, walking in the cold, standing, waiting for other children to get out of his way - nothing. Finally, what did him in for the night was a scary house on our street with a big blow up display that had stuff in it that moved ... he actually clawed my face.... he went home.
Maddie on the other hand did amazing.. after about the 5th house, she ran up to houses saying, "trick or treat", and loved it! She could care less her brother was being a suck - she was the tough one last night. I am really hoping that next year Owen will have a better experience and here is a list of things I am going to do different for him -
-Not make him wear a mask, it iterates him.
-Maybe only take him to a hand full of houses, not make him visit the whole street.
-Our neighbours will know him next yr, and they all know now he has Autism, they were very understanding, and they will know him a little better next yr.
All in all, we had a great night.. and we are still learning what is going to test Owen, and make him push the limits. I thank God often that he has parents who are willing to take him out of his comfort zone, push him, because we know the benefits in the long term that he will be able to do more than just staying at home lining stuff up watching Disney movies. I also thank God for giving him to us, he is making us such better, understanding, and patient parents all the time, and giving us the skills `to handle him, and Owen is teaching us a whole new definition of parenting.
Yes, the road on this journey is going to be hard, holidays especially, but we just have to keep the faith that next year, next week, tomorrow - is going to be a better and a new day. :)