Kate adores Buzz Lightyear. I mean really adores him, the way someone would adore Madonna or Lady Gaga or Chocolate Cake. So, I of course scoured the internet until I found the nicest most expensive Buzz Lightyear costume in the land. It arrived weeks ago and I had a plan. I would slowly introduce the costume to Kate by first letting it hang in her closet so she could see it. Next, I would let Grace try it on and spend some time playing with Kate and finally Kate would allow me to put it on her and we would have the picturesque Hallowe'en I was imagining. Here is how it really went. She would not even let us get the costume within feet of her. In fact, it was as if the costume was on fire. Parents of children with autism are snickering at my ill-fated attempt because they know that what I was trying to accomplish would have been at best an exercise in frustration and at worst a melt-down of biblical proportions. So, we had no costume and Hallowe'en day looming. Let me set the stage for you; we dropped Kate off at daycare without so much as a warning that any Hallowe'en festivities might send Kate into sensory overload. I'm a resource teacher at an elementary school. I know all too well what Halloween festivities at school mean. What was I thinking? There would be costumes and excitement and strange foods. All things that Kate would not be able to process as easily as the NT's (neurotypical kids). In my defence, we have only known about Kate's diagnosis since July 12th; months really (If I am being totally honest, I knew much before then.) It was a rough day for Kate. When I picked up Kate from daycare that day she was done. You know when your kids are done. It is when they melt into your arms. When you hug them and you can literally feel the anxiety leave their little bodies. She was that kind of done. Her teachers knew it and were so kind and patient and accommodating to Kate but she had had enough and when I brought her home she found the IPad and left us for awhile, spending some time with Buzz which allowed her to decompress. Needless to say, Kate did not make it out trick-or-treating that night. She spent time with her dad while Grace and I braved the rain and made it down two streets before she was ready to go home. We will try again next year, but we won't push. These holidays are a lot to handle and we will happily take advice on how to prepare Kate. Comments are welcome! Christmas is just around the corner and I want her to enjoy it the way Grace does. I guess I'll end there for tonight. Thanks to everyone for checking out this site and reading this blog. It means a lot. Last I checked this site had 96 views. That is very exciting to me! So much knowledge to tap into out there. Night.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)