Halloween Emergency Rescue Plan
AS and the weather have more than a few things in common. Both are unpredictable, frustrating, and capable of making us feel like old dogs living inside a hurricane made of knives, radioactive badgers, and fire. Sometimes AS cancels important plans, but this doesn't mean that those cute costumes has to go to waste. An emergency plan can keep the fun going.
Halloween seems grow increasingly grand by the year. It was mostly about elementary school kids scampering around their neighborhoods in homemade or improvised costumes when I was a kid. I was Baby Bunny several years in a row. My costume consisted of pink footy pajamas, a homemade bunny ears hat, a detachable pompom tail, and whiskers drawn onto my face. That wouldn't cut it these days! Halloween has become a sort of second Christmas with lighting, decorations, and kids showing off fancy costumes. Planning ahead for a bad day can ensure that we're able to show the kids in our care some fun.
Here's my Emergency Halloween stash
- Picture frame with Trick or Treat window clings
- Some Halloween garland
- A Halloween House
- A pumpkin jar
- Assorted washi tapes
- A seasonal Burger King Crown
- A pack of seasonal stickers
- A tray to set things on
- Battery pack lights
- Curly ribbon
How to use this stuff
Have your little ones set up the items. Trays or shelves are an ideal format ideal focal points that contain the festivities.
Decorate the Burger King crowns with washi tape and stickers. Card stock or junk mail works great too.
Draw a comic strip or storyboard using the Halloween stickers. Younger kids might need a bit of direction about picking characters and a few plot points.
Take pictures together to commemorate the fun time that you shared. Also, do check out my No Carve Pumpkin instructions here!
It's okay if you're feeling uncertain. Here are a few tips about managing unhelpful thoughts about using adaptives (things that reduce pain and make things a bit simpler):
1. What if it's not as good as past Halloweens?
There's no one perfect way to do anything. Adapting to current circumstances is a win. It's a win because you're thinking ahead, trying to meet their needs, and showing that you want to spend time together.
2. I don't want them to have inferior experiences just because of me.
Any activity involving you is something that only you can provide. Any activity accomplished through the use of adaptive technology or other accommodations is just as valid as those done without them. Admitting limitations and showing ways to adapt makes you a role model for resilience and self-care.
3. What if they think I don't care about what they want to do?
This is tricky. Remember that children are capable of playing on insecurities. Be clear that you wanted to keep the plans that you made and that their wishes matter. Acknowledging disappointment or frustration is healthy, but consider not apologizing. AS isn't something you've done wrong. Learning to balance disappointments with expectations is a normal part of development.
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?