Special Needs

ASD/Aspergers and Halloween: How to deal with costumes

My son went to a birthday party and the father dressed up as Darth vader...I mean...a professional real-deal costume....with the synthasized (sp?) voice and all!  We were unaware that it would be there so I was unable to prepare my son...he freaked out. That was about 6 month ago.  Now....my two nephews (ages 3 and 6) are going to be darth vader for Halloween and their intention is to scare my son who is 4.  I have talked to them about being nice, etc. 

When my son looks at DV stuff at a store, he is OK.  On TV, fine...but if it's a cardboard cut-out mask, he FLIPS!  He is OK when HE puts the mask on, but even if he WATCHES someone put on the mask and once it's on, he flips out. 

I am not sure how to handle the next two days where my son will be with them and they have the mean intention to scare him.  My nephews are NOT going to change what their costume is,nor would I expect them to...but I need a way to explain to my son that he might see some DV, how to deal approrpriatly. He need to be prepared for trick or treating when we WILL encounter things that might be scary to him.

 Should I say something to my SIL who know my son was recently DX autistic and have them talk to their kids. I get kids will be kids...but I don't need my son being a target.  Know what I mean?

Re: ASD/Aspergers and Halloween: How to deal with costumes

  • image JandBandB:

    Now....my two nephews (ages 3 and 6) are going to be darth vader for Halloween and their intention is to scare my son who is 4....... Should I say something to my SIL who know my son was recently DX autistic and have them talk to their kids. I get kids will be kids...but I don't need my son being a target.  Know what I mean?

    It sounds like the costume choice has been made soley for your son to be a target! Is DV really big this year?

    I would talk to your SIL but I wouldn't expect any help from her. Seriously, out of all the thousands of costume options she couldn't have steered them to select another option? Or at least said DV is NOT an option?

    If they are still doing DV maybe you should look into some other ToT options in order to avoid the DV's spoiling both yours and DS's Halloween experience.

    A 4 and 6 year old do not have a emotional bandwidth IMO to be able to grasp why being autistic and DV do not go together. If your SIL knew about your son's issues with the previous DV then shame on her. Especially shame on her if all the children usually do ToT together.

    I hope some of the other ASD mommies can give you some ideas. Maybe a social story?....Good Luck..

    WAY 2 Cool 4 School


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  • Golly...thank you both for your replies!

    I would never ask my SIL's to have their kids change their costumes.  They BOTH LOVE star Wars, esp, DV.  BUT, both kids (from two seperate homes) have BOTH said that they want to scare him.  This has been going on for a month when we get together and it has upset my son.  We can easily bow out of the party...it's daytime ToT with my extended family on Sunday.  On Monday, my DH and I will take our kids ToT in our neighborhood.....but I cannot protect him from any DV that he might encounter (family or not)....I can only prepare...but not sure what rationalization I should use.

    As for bowing out of the ToT on Sunday, I am not sure what to say to my family.  We JUST got the ASD dx on Monday.  My family knows and *some* are supportive.  I don't want to use his dx as a reason, though it's the truth. My family is very controling and their flexibility is not there.  In the end, what is best for OUR little family is most important.

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  • image JandBandB:

    Golly...thank you both for your replies!

    I would never ask my SIL's to have their kids change their costumes.  They BOTH LOVE star Wars, esp, DV.  BUT, both kids (from two seperate homes) have BOTH said that they want to scare him.  This has been going on for a month when we get together and it has upset my son.  We can easily bow out of the party...it's daytime ToT with my extended family on Sunday.  On Monday, my DH and I will take our kids ToT in our neighborhood.....but I cannot protect him from any DV that he might encounter (family or not)....I can only prepare...but not sure what rationalization I should use.

    As for bowing out of the ToT on Sunday, I am not sure what to say to my family.  We JUST got the ASD dx on Monday.  My family knows and *some* are supportive.  I don't want to use his dx as a reason, though it's the truth. My family is very controling and their flexibility is not there.  In the end, what is best for OUR little family is most important.

    While I am not dealing with autism or asberger's, what I bolded is what you do. If your family doesn't understand, well, they don't understand. From what you've written, I'd say that your 4yr old just isn't ready for the Halloween experience and there is no harm (other then maybe dampening your own Halloween expectation) in him not trick or treating this year.

    I do know that if my nephews chose a costume for the sole intention of scaring my child (given your situation and your child's diagnosis) then I would be avoiding that opportunity. Just because they WANT to scare your son, doesn't mean you have to put him in the situation where it could very well happen. Your family has the choice of supporting you and understanding your reasons or not...you do not have control over that.

  • I guess since both kids have said they want to scare DS then that is reason enough. ASD dx or not, I wouldn't want my child to be terrified of an experience that I can control.

    There is no point in bringing your son to a family event that will turn out bad in the end for both you and him. It is tempting to bring him just to say "see! I told you he would be scared" but it looks like your family will not "get it" anyway. I agree that you cannot protect him from every DV out there, but you or your DH can be the "DV lookout" and work to avoid the situation or use distraction during ToT-ing. With DV's being part of the family party, avoidance will not be an option.....Maybe a well timed runny nose of fever would help you out in this situation...?

    WAY 2 Cool 4 School


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  • I spoke with my DH and we are going to talk to our son and let him make the decision but lay out what is at stake.  We will also see how another family event will be tomorrow (with same kids) and if it's a ganging up situation, then it's gonna be a no-brainer!

     On a side note, assembly: Your son is gorgious!  Every time I see his pict in a post, it just brings a smile to my face. He looks like a cuddle bunny! :)  Is he a cuddler? 

  • image JandBandB:

     On a side note, assembly: Your son is gorgious!  Every time I see his pict in a post, it just brings a smile to my face. He looks like a cuddle bunny! :)  Is he a cuddler? 

    Aww thanks! I would say he is "sort of" a cuddler, but he is also pretty independent and not clingy. He will scoot over to me when I come and get him at school and put out his arms up to be picked up. He will "give mommy snuggles" and kisses when asked. His kisses are the best. Big, open, spitty mouth on my cheek with a "mwah" thrown in.

    WAY 2 Cool 4 School


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