A few weeks before Halloween Henry came to us and said, “We’re gonna have a Halloween party.”
We were a bit taken aback because Henry’s autism is most apparent in his expressive language. We have two languages you know, expressive and receptive. He receives information very well…too well if you want to know. However, his expressive language is all mixed wires. He rarely converses in past or future tense. He simply can’t seem to either understand or express what happened yesterday, as yesterday. If you ask him what he did (this morning, in school, last year, yesterday) he answers with what he is doing. Or he politely says, “Yes.” The same is true for future tense, although he has more success with the future than with the past.
So we answered right away. “Well, what are we going to do at this party?”
“At the Halloween party we will go to Mimi & Granddad’s, go trick or treating, get in the swimming pool and the spa, have a picnic food outside, and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
Well, anytime Henry uses appropriate language we pretty much do whatever he says. And besides, this sounded like a fun party. So we asked who would be invited.
“Henry Bass will be the blue SPD Power Ranger, Mommy is gonna be Marge Simpson, Granddad is gonna be the Cat in the Hat, Dad is gonna be Matthew Fox, and Mimi is gonna be Conan O’Brian.”
When we asked him several days later the guest list and their costumes he said the same thing. When we went to my parent’s house we asked him to tell them about the party and then about their costumes; he repeated the same plans. This meant this was his plan, not random, ever changing ideas.
This sent us into a several day search for a blue SPD power ranger costume & blue hair spray for me. After a few costume dramas all was acquired, including an old beat up Cat in the Hat hat for my dad. We went to their house, took pictures, went trick or treating…well, you have the itinerary and the guest list. We had a really great time and Henry was very pleased with his party plans and how well they turned out. As soon as we figure out how to get the pictures out of the camera (I’m betting Easter) I’ll be sure to post them. Both Henry & I were particularly pleased with my Marge Simpson costume which involved a neon green t-shirt from the Rhonda Day collection and my own hair (no wig work, Joel) in a beehive sprayed blue.
There was a lot of wondering about his choices for our costumes. He was very set & very certain as to the casting. I was pretty sure I’d figured it out, since it seemed perfect casting from Henry’s POV:
Granddad – reads stories to him, especially at bedtime if the grandparents are babysitting.
Me – well, I’m Mom & Marge is Mom.
Dad – the leading man/hero archetype, of course.
Mimi – the perfect host.