Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trick or Treating at Our House

Halloween is a complicated celebration for us.

We're Pagan, and we're the kind of Pagans who generally celebrate the 8 "Wheel of the Year" solar holidays - and Samhain (which also falls on the night of October 31) is a big deal. Luckily, in this case, most of the more secular celebrations fall in line with things appropriate to the religious holiday, but it does temper the celebration for me a bit, because it's not just about costumes and candy - it's a serious day, and a day for celebrating, and a celebration of the end. It's the last harvest before the winter, and if you haven't got enough put away to last til spring right now, you're probably going to starve to death (metaphorically, for most of us).

We also have two children with special needs.  Sure, there are plenty of cute costumes for kids like ours (we've seen a slew of wheel chair friendly costumes this year, and one year when Acorn was still on a ventilator, we dressed him as Darth Vader (with Live! Action! Breath! Sounds!).

But Trick or Treating is challenging for some kids. There's a whole script for the event to know, and if your child is slow to pick up new routines, that's hard. If your child doesn't talk, or talks only in circumstances where they're comfortable, or is hard to understand, people you meet while Trick or Treating can be very pushy - after all, they're giving your child candy, so they deserve to hear your child ask for it. There's masks and costumes that can be hard for kids with sensory issues, and anxious kids can worry about the others in costume too.

This year things are further complicated by bedtimes that start at 7 pm. Sunset here is at 6:27 on Halloween this year. Maybe we'll hit a couple of houses. Maybe we'll program "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You" into one of Acorn's speaking devices.

Or maybe we'll just stay home and tell stories of our ancestors while handing out treats. It's not like Acorn or Leaf eat candy anyway.

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