I gave Cooper a sign for Halloween. It was simple. It said Trick-or-Treat. I gave it to him because he looks so much like a typical child and people don’t know how to react when he does things. They get nervous. I get nervous. And then Cooper gets nervous. By giving Cooper a sign I removed the guesswork and answered the questions that people have. ‘Is there something off with that child?’
We’ve all been there. You’ve all wondered it. Let’s be honest. You see a kiddo or even an adult do something odd. And you start to wonder what’s wrong with them. I’m past caring if people know that Cooper is autistic. I am in phase 2…the phase where I need them to be calm and patient with my little firecracker.
I have spent hours and hours wondering if my life would be easier if Cooper looked handicapped. Would it be easier if people noticed that he different? Then they wouldn’t question why he doesn’t talk. But that’s a question for another day.
I would say we went to 12 houses or so. Cooper ran, walked, crawled and felt his way along. He did amazing. More than once he tried to go in a house. He touched people. He threw candy. But I can honestly say he had a really great time.
He showed his sign at every single house. And he signed thank you each time as well. There was even a woman who asked how to sign ‘your welcome’ to him. So sweet. At one house he wanted to touch all the candy in the bowl. The woman actually sat down on the ground with him and let him look at every piece. It took 5 minutes. And each time I tried to rush him she told me that it was fine. Let him look.
I could have hugged her.
After all that he didn’t even take a piece of candy.
I know it was because of the sign. So simple. I’m not saying I want him to wear a sign that says he is autistic. I don’t want that. But on this special occasion it worked perfectly. It took the guessing out of it. People were so patient with him.
We still had the usual Cooper Autism’s. He didn’t care about his costume. He didn’t care about getting candy…really…he only needed the first piece. It lasted him pretty much the whole time. There is not a greedy bone in that kids body. He had to be carried home. When he is done walking…he is done walking. There is no more.
But, honestly, who cares about that stuff. He went trick-or-treating with his brother. I had two children that experienced Halloween together. And that’s a first. I was able to be with BOTH of my kids. And for that I am thankful.