We prepared Stella with trick or treating with Little Einsteins Halloween Episode. She was excited and ready. Nolan isn’t really a kid you can verbally prepare for things, we just kind of jump in and sooth if necessary.
For the first Trick or Treating experience, we try to do the local Halloween in the park. It is super short, low key, and a practice run. There is a little trail and there are little stops along the way to get candy. We get there super early to try and avoid crowds and make it as low pressure as possible. We also hope it is warmer and light out still. I was planning on getting a sign for his bucket or clothes that says, “I have Autism. I cannot say Trick or Treat but I am trying!” but I didn’t get to it before this. Knowing this was low pressure, we went in telling him to say trick or treat and when he doesn’t, just running with it; they would give the candy anyway. Well, we get up there and just say, “say Trick or treat” and he said “treat”! ahh so excited. I then told him to say, “say thank you” and he said thank you (“Tank tew”)!! Ahh! So excited!
Nolan is not very sensory sensitive, though hats, hoods and ears are hit or miss. We encourage him to “hat on” “ears on” etc, but we don’t push it to frustration for him. He did not have a problem with this costume, which was very fortunate.
Trick or Treating on Halloween was Wednesday. Daddy had off of work so he could tag team with me. We start with just doing our block, go visit my grandma, and then go to Alex’s parent’s house and do their neighborhood. For whatever reason, not one trick or treater went down our street until 40 minutes after the start time. This got us off to a little later of a start. We finally got going only to have Nolan make it 3 houses before whining and literally dragging his feet. We thought he may be warm so we took off a sweatshirt he was wearing under his costume. Through all this pouting and fit throwing, Nolan never let go of my finger or ran away. He stayed by us and still was acting like a four year old who was pouting but still listening to his parents. With his complaints getting more insistent, Daddy literally jogged and went to get him the wagon. This helped a little, and he started to throw a fit again. I literally ran to the garage (sciatic nerve pain and all) and got him a soda. That helped a little bit but not much. We finished our street and got in the car for great grandma’s. He was whining in there, but after stealing the pizza right off grandma’s plate he cheered up. We realized he was likely hangry. The visit to her house was short and we headed off to Alex’s parents. There, we got some beef sticks, cheese, and juice box and he was ready to go. We went to 3 more houses (specific neighbors we know). At the second house, which happens to be Grandma’s cousin, Nolan’s cousin let himself into the house. She welcomed him in and all the other kids followed suit. Nolan walked in, set his bucket on the floor, and bee-lined for the living room where he belly flopped the couch. This actually greatly brightened his mood! We did some jumps and got some smiles and headed back to grandmas where we ate macaroni and cheese. He ate like a champ, cheered up, and was our normal little Noley boy.
Dinner was always planned as we know Nolan eating can really affect his mood, but we didn’t take into account the later start. Mentally noting to have food, real food, at some point on the trip next year.
Stella was a champion. She said trick or treat, she said thank you. She held her cousins hand and was a great help to Nolan. She made sure he got candy when she did, she made sure he got in the wagon each time. She is a great little sister!
Even with our new protocol, we do not have any food allergies or restrictions when it comes to treats (currently). That being said, I know full well how great it feels to have someone go out of their way to make it easier on us. It is so much appreciated and just really makes you feel like a better parent that you can help provide what your child needs with the help of others. That is why I decided to do a teal pumpkin this year. I took some of my Usborne Books & More activity cards and bundled them up with a dry erase marker I got at the local ReStore. I hope those families enjoy their Halloween and their treats! I encourage any family that can to do teal pumpkin next year for those who need it. The teal pumpkin and the teal bucket from Target. The cards are from my Usborne Books & More page, but candy free treats can be found at dollar tree, dollar spot, or similar locations!