Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Can Be More Than Just Spooky…


Today is a day that kids dream about…Halloween! AKA Get all the candy in my belly day! What some people don’t realize is what a challenge Halloween and Trick or Treating can be for kids who live with invisible struggles like Juvenile Arthritis, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Asperger's just to name a few. It can be more than scary…it can be painful and intimidating. 

This year we were fortunate in the fact that Monkey is doing well with his pain thanks to the treatment he’s on. He walked with his dad and brothers for a full two hours of Trick or Treating. That night he did wake up in the middle of the night sore and needing Tylenol but it’s better than how things went last year. Last year he only walked a couple blocks before asking me to carry him and finally asking to just stay at the house and hand out candy instead. Since we are aware of his issues I made sure to make myself more accessible to kiddos this year. Rather than sitting inside and waiting for the kids to come up the steps to our door I sat outside on the sidewalk so they could easily come for their treats. So many kiddos were in strollers or wagons…whether they too were living with an invisible struggle I may never know about but I’m glad that we were able make it easier for them to get their goodies.

So if you are participating in Trick or Treat this evening please take a moment to consider those who may be struggling. Remember that you can’t always see the pain or struggle that some one is dealing with. Be patient with the kiddos and their parents as they are out and help make it a wonderful experience. Who knows how you may bless some one by just a small gesture of kindness and understanding. You can also read another great post about Halloween challenges by my good friend, Kim, over at Living with Juvenile Arthritis who says:

“Reading Jen’s blog and thinking of my kids, made me think about a few more things. Look at all that the CP and JA moms have in common. What about all the other disabilities?  Do you have any non-food treats (like vampire teeth or spider rings) for kids that have severe food allergies or other dietary restrictions (like kids with Diabetes, or ADHD)?  Will you be the one to say “MANNERS!” to the child who grabs a handful of candy, but unbeknownst to you, is autistic? Or will you be the house that we, the parents of children with special needs can breathe a sigh of relief when you kindly answer the door, and have treats we can enjoy, with just a sweet comment about our child’s costume?”