When my son was a bouncing baby I loved the pumpkin/skeleton themed romper suits with matching hats.  

When he was a toddler I would dress him up and hold his hand whilst we visited family for sweet treats.

When Cameron was diagnosed at age 4 though it was a difficult time – normal clothes now felt funny to him and he didn’t like change. 

I had no chance of dressing him up, I remember the mother of all meltdowns when I tried to get his face painted at a kids birthday party and quickly reaching for the baby wipes.

By age 5 I used to dread the change of season into autumn, the dark early nights – big warm itchy jumpers and Halloween/bonfire celebrations. 

It was this year in 2013 that the fireworks had started a few weeks early and I quickly realised the loud bangs were sending my baby into sensory overload and a nervous wreck.

I lay with him for an hour on his bed one night and wrapped the blanket over his ears where he held them so tight he was sweating, I kept reassuring him “Don’t worry baby - its ok Cameron, don’t be scared – it’s just fireworks” and showing him them through the window.

I went downstairs to get him a drink and snack and when I returned about 10 minutes later as I got to the top of the stairs I stopped and all I could hear in repetition was “its ok Cameron – don’t worry, its ok” – he was self-soothing himself with the words I had been repeating. 

For the next couple of weeks until the firework frenzy had passed this was how I would often find my son – blanket over ears, self-soothing.

From then on; I started to prepare him well in advance, I taught him about seasons and made up laminated pictures that corresponded with each.  I was determined for the following year to be less stressful. 

We watched YouTube videos and made a bit deal at New Year to sit as a family and watch the firework displays on TV then open the blinds and watch the colours in the sky.

At age 7 Cameron asked me about “trick or treat” – he said that there was a Halloween party at school club and he would like to wear an outfit. 

I took him straight to TESCO and said he could choose anything he wanted……….

It was 3 days before Halloween mind and it was literally the dregs that remain on the shelves – none the less that year he was a zombie vampire with witches broom!!!

Age 8 Cameron didn’t want to go out in the dark but was delighted to give children chocolates at the front door, comment on their outfit choice and discuss at length the contents of the sweet jar.

So this year my son is age 9 – he has asked if he can go with his cousin dressed up as a superhero and do trick or treat. Yes, yes, YES!

We plan to take them round to our family and friends houses so they can have their first experience of Halloween.

Yes its taken 9 years and 5 months but like most thing on our autism road – we take the scenic route and its takes us a little more time!!

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