Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy dance!

Bitty wore his costume today (yay!) and he was soooo adorable :). Maybe he was just waiting for the actual day to arrive? He actually went trick-or-treating for the first time ever. We went to about five or six houses and then he was ready to come home. He scored some M&M's so he was excited about that. :)

Cuddlebug and Bearhug took off ahead of us and made the rounds of the whole neighborhood along with their friend and his parents.

Pictures coming soon! :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pilchard costume

In years past Bitty really hasn't shown any interest in Halloween. I love Halloween, so I was pretty excited when I asked him what he wanted to dress up as this year instead of saying "no" or ignoring me, he said, "you want to wear Pilchard." Pilchard is, of course, Bob the Builder's cat.

I asked him several times for a couple of weeks to make sure he really wanted to be Pilchard for Halloween. His answer was consistent, and he even spontaneously told me he wanted to "wear Pilchard" several times. I checked around and could not find any Pilchard costumes for sale (not even online) so I bought the supplies to make one.

Bitty seemed excited when he saw me starting to make it. After several days (and late nights) of working, I finished it in time for the Trunk or Treat at church.

I made dh promise not to show it to him until I got home from work that day, because I wanted to see his expression when he saw it all finished.

Bitty wanted no part of it. Refused to even try it on. Sigh.

The next day was the Trunk or Treat, but Bitty was having an "off" day so we ended up not going. Hmm... if I'd known that I could have taken a couple of extra days to finish the costume and saved myself some sleepless nights. Oh well.

I'm still semi-hopeful that we may be able to convince him to at least try on his costume, but I'm not holding my breath.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Pumpkin patch!

Last weekend we took the boys to visit a local farm to find pumpkins :). It was Bitty's first visit (I've taken Cuddlebug and Bearhug before). We ended up coming home with some yummy pumpkin bread, apple bread, and honey in addition to the pumpkins :).

Checking out the pumpkins:

Pulling a wagon full of pumpkins is good "heavy work."

These caught Bitty's attention - Pokemon pumpkins, who knew? :)

Exploring around the farm:

Bearhug feeding the fish.


Bitty found a big leaf (aka "lily pad" since he found it floating on the fish pond).

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween tips for children on the spectrum

Reposting (with some updates / edits) an earlier post.


Halloween can be challenging for children with sensory issues, such as sensitivity to different fabrics or difficulty with large crowds, or who have trouble with changes in routine, so I thought I'd share a few tips we have learned over the years with our kids.

Costumes can be uncomfortable for anyone, but for a child with sensory issues, they can be downright unbearable due to stiff or unfamiliar fabric, extra pieces / attachments, masks or face paint, etc. One thing that I have found helpful is to make costumes using regular clothes as the basis of the costume wherever possible. Sweatsuits are especially versatile and useful for costumes. Find one in the color you need (depending on what the costume is) and then you can attach decorations or whatever you want. From the child's perspective, it's no different than wearing sweats - so as long as they are comfortable in sweats it should be tolerable for them to wear.

A couple of examples using sweatsuits:

Thing 1 and Thing 2 from 'Cat in the Hat'
with red sweats minus the blue hair

Costumes made from blue sweats,
Thomas fabric, and felt numbers

A couple of examples using "regular" clothes:

Bob the Builder outfits using overalls & flannel shirts
The hats didn't last long but they liked the toolbelts

They already had buzz-cuts, so one year we just
got camo shirts for "mini-Marine" costumes

As for the crowds and excitement, we have found it best to be flexible in terms of expectations, watch for signs of overstimulation and be prepared to bail if needed. Consider doing something a little more low-key. Many years, we have just taken the boys out for ice cream on Halloween. It's usually not crowded (because everyone else is out trick-or-treating or going to Halloween parties), it's a fun treat for them, and they can still show off their costumes :).

A couple of times we tried going to a Halloween party at church. The first time we went, the boys were 3 1/2 and it was way too much for them. The candy part didn't start until later, and by that time they were beyond overstimulated so we left and went for ice cream instead. The following year, we tried going late and got there just in time for the candy part, we missed the other activities but it worked out better for the boys. One year, we tried taking them to the mall for some trick-or-treating and that didn't go well. It was fine at first because we got there early, but as more people arrived it got really crowded and loud, and so we left that early too.

Now that the boys are a little older, we can just ask them what they want to do for Halloween. Sometimes they want to dress up, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they want to go trick-or-treating, and sometimes they opt for our semi-traditional Halloween ice-cream instead. Up until this year Bitty hasn't cared about Halloween, last year he refused to put on a costume (no big deal) and had no interest in trick-or-treating so he just stayed home with dh, who was handing out candy.

This year Bitty wants to dress up as Pilchard, the cat from Bob the Builder. I have no idea if he'll want to go trick-or-treating or not, we'll just see how it goes. I couldn't find any light blue sweats this year to make a Pilchard costume, so I got the next best thing - light blue fleece (on sale!) and I'll sew him a costume with that.

At first Bearhug and Cuddlebug didn't want to dress up (or as I would put it they wanted to go as 4th graders, lol). I joked and said if anyone asked they could say they are dressed up as each other ;). Identical twins can get away with that, right? Anyway, since then they've asked me to make them black capes so they can dress up as their own made-up characters from their "stick battles" drawings. They also want swords, and I know we have at least one but we might need to pick up another one.

Today we're headed to visit a pumpkin patch, and tonight I'll be working on costumes!

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autism Fair

We took the whole family to the Family Fun Day this year. Dh took Cuddlebug and Bearhug to the inflatables, where they spent most of their time bouncing :).

Meanwhile, I took Bitty on the train ride (he wasn't quite sure what to think of it at first, but he was enjoying himself by the time we finished).

After that we went to the petting zoo, Bitty loved it and we spent the rest of our time there.

One of the volunteers struck up a conversation with Bitty and I was really impressed that with only minimal prompting he engaged in a really good back-and-forth dialogue with her. He has come such a long way! He got "stuck" on a couple of phrases, like "ee's stuck in da old oak twee" which we couldn't figure out (I'm guessing that one came from something he read in school), but he was able to answer his name, age, favorite color (pink), favorite number (7), favorite letter (after some very deliberate pondering over that one, lol), and tell her all about our cat. He did tell her the cat's name is Martha (like the dog in Martha Speaks), which it's not, but he has taken to renaming our cat with whatever his favorite animal character of the moment is. Right now it's Pilchard (the cat from Bob the Builder).

We met back up with dh and the (big) boys and were all going to ride the hayride together but Bitty refused to get on.

He wanted to go back to the petting zoo :)

Flashback: Autism fair 2008

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Little Bitty


If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Enjoying the fall weather

...while it lasts, anyway. It is finally cool enough to go outside during the day. I hope it stays that way for a while longer before winter sets in.

Bearhug riding his bike

Cuddlebug took a break from bike-riding to play trains with his little brother.

Little Bitty branching out from trains to play with his trucks :).

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Magic Marker Monday: Helping others

When the 4th and 5th graders were offered a chance to run for student council, both Bearhug and Cuddlebug decided they wanted to run (they each ran for different positions). One of the requirements was to write a short essay describing a time they helped someone and what they learned from it. Here are their essays (click to enlarge).

Cuddlebug wrote about helping a Kindergartener (not his brother) get to car riders at the end of the day for the first two weeks of the school year. It was something he volunteered for.

Bearhug wrote about helping a little boy's parents at church by playing with him to keep him entertained (he loves playing with younger children and has expressed an interest in babysitting when he gets older).

For reference, here's the snake he's referring to. It's kind of squishy, making it one of his favorite things to play with :).

They didn't end up winning their elections this year, but it was a good experience so they may decide to try again next year. Either way, I am proud of them for the effort they put in :).

For more Magic Marker Monday, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trout hatchery

A few weeks ago we took the boys to the trout hatchery to check it out. They raise trout, and also have a fishing pond where you can fish for trout and are pretty much guaranteed to catch something ;). Great place to take kids!

They had a box of fish food there, the boys had a great time feeding the fish :).

After feeding the fish, we headed down the trail to the fishing pond.

Since we were really there just to see what it was like we hadn't brought our fishing poles or gear, but they had some poles there for kids to use and there was a guy there with his sons who was kind enough to give us a piece of their bread to use for bait. I'm all for fishing with bread rather than icky worms ;).

Bearhug and Cuddlebug each caught a fish, but dh threw them back before I could get a good picture. We'll be heading back soon (prepared this time with poles and bread!) so I'll make sure he holds them a little longer next time!

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

About Me

My Photo
I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


You're visitor #
Locations of visitors to this page


The button

Everyday Adventures

Blog stuff Registered & Protected Get your own free Blogoversary button!

Add to Technorati Favorites

© 2011 Everyday Adventures