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Just a single mom of two small boys somewhere in the middle of Minnesota. My older son has been diagnosed with autism. Both sons have been diagnosed with awesome.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I've had pumpkins on the front step for a while, but yesterday I started putting out the decorations for Halloween. 

Max got so excited he ran to next door to go trick-or-treating, but thankfully he didn't get upset when I explained it wasn't Halloween just yet. He laughed in a way that seemed to say, "Oh, silly me!"

I've always loved Halloween, so I feel pretty lucky that Max loves it, too. I know that isn't always the case for kids with autism related disorders. The costumes and all the people can be pretty overwhelming. I do try to prepare him every year with Halloween videos and specials, but for the most part it's been a non-issue with him.

Max has fun, but doesn't seem to have strong opinions on costumes. This year I picked out a Starfleet uniform and he seemed happy with that when he tried it on.

I do make it a point to pick out costumes he'll both like and recognize. I also look for comfortable things that don't need a hat or a mask. If they can double as play clothes later, that's a huge bonus. 

I use similar guidelines picking out for costumes for both my sons, the only real difference being Sam can and will wear hats.

I think the part Max actually likes best about Halloween, apart from the holiday specials and songs, is trick-or-treating. Even before he had a diagnosis, I would joke that trick-or-treating was socializing at the 'speed of Max.' 

You go up to a house, you say "trick-or-treat" (or not) get something in your bag. No pressure and it's pretty straight-forward.

His three year old brother, Sammy, has strong opinions about costumes. Last he year he wanted to be a doctor AND a firefighter. He ended up being a doctor for the mall and grocery store events and a firefighter for going trick-or-treating door-to-door. 

He's already picked out a football uniform this year and I am holding firm on not getting costume. If he wants to wear his fireman costume from last year to something, that's fine, but I am not buying anything new.

The scary aspect of Halloween had Sammy a little worried, but I think he is handling it fine.

Last night he wanted to pretend we were camping in the snakey woods, so we sat on the couch  with a blanket and called it our tent.

I hooted like an owl and asked him what that was, and he said, "Don't be scared. It's just an owl." 

I growled and he said, "That's just a cat." 

This went on for a while with me doing different animal noises until I threw back my head and howled.

He patted me on the arm and said, "Don't worry, Mama. It's just a werewolf."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Tortuga Twins (& Max) Go Crazy!

Max waiting to watch The Tortuga Twins

Over the weekend we went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  We all had a great time, which was not a surprise. We've been there before and always had fun. Sammy's favorite part was going on a butterfly ride. 

Max really loved the Tortuga Twins. Their act has a lot of audience participation and Max had so much fun with it. I was really impressed by his level of engagement with the show. He howled like a wolf, cheered, and even yelled, "Heck, no!" on cue. For a kid with autism, I think that's pretty awesome.

During the swordfighting part he tried to rush the stage to save Scaramouche, one of the twins, but he calmed down pretty quickly when I explained they are all friends and just being silly.

Scaramouche told the other guys they better be careful or his little bodyguard would get them. Afterward he thanked Max and even recognized him the next day and thanked him again. 

Their act IS bawdy, and gets more so as the day goes on, but Max loved it so much I had to bring him back. He's still talking about it and saying, "Tortuga Twins Go Crazy!"

Thankfully he has only said, "Get naked!" a couple of times, and not at all at school. ;-)

*knock on wood* 

Wordless Wednesday

Max, Sam & their cousin Allison dressed up the the Minnesota Renaissance Festival