Halloween is one of our Autism Progress Reports.
Not unlike the circus, it’s an annual opportunity to see how far Jake has come in the previous year. Unlike the circus, he keeps showing improvement with Halloween.
Several years ago, he would get very anxious and wait on the sidewalk, or crouched behind his mother when we’d take him Trick-or-Treating. Slowly he’d progress to getting onto the lawn, and accept the candy his sister would get for him. Two years ago, Jake would be part of the group of kids assailing some poor woman holding her punch bowl full of fun-sized Snickers bars. Last year, he wanted to be the first one in line at each house, but never actually said “trick-or-treat!”
For the past week, he’s been looking at the calendar near his bed and giving me the run down. It usually sounds something like this (also remarkably like a stream of consciousness), “in six days it’s trick or treat at four o-clock and we’ll get the candy and when it’s done we’ll say that was the best Halloween ever and it’s November Thanksgiving.” We’ve also been mock knocking, asking, and receiving for several days now. To say he’s prepared is an understatement.
Tonight, he did pretty well. As luck would have it, we didn’t get very good weather. He doesn’t do well in the rain to begin with, but he held it together for two streets. It was four houses before he boldly went to the door. He never actually said the magic words, but he did comment a few times, “lemme get my bag open,” and I’m sure I heard a “thank you” or two.
We’d only been out maybe 30 minutes before he started loudly declaring, “I WANT TO GO HOME!” Had it not been 42 degrees and raining, he may have hung on longer. We still got a pretty reasonable cache of candy – having three kids means more rotted teeth in 1/3 the time.
I guess at the end of the day, as I look back, I’d have to say that though we’re not there yet, we’ve come a long way since we started.