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I Wouldn't Change a Thing about How We Celebrated Halloween with my Son with Autism

If I could do my life over, I'd be a party planner.

There are few things I enjoy more than preparing a celebration, like the Halloween party for children with special needs I led for our township last weekend. I spent weeks arranging details for crafts, games, decorations and snacks so the event would run with ease. Thanks to a host of generous volunteers, I think it did.

Celebrations with my own family, however, didn't always turn out as planned. The blueprints for gaiety in my mind were rarely executed as intended by Daniel, my little boy with autism. He had his own ideas.

Take birthdays, for example. I strove to make them festive occasions in our household, involving favorite meals, helium balloons and a musical birthday plate for the guest of honor.

Daniel, however, was unimpressed. One year he actually developed a physical aversion to birthday cake. He wanted no part of the homemade confections brought forth for other family members, shoving his slice away with the back of his wrist, lest the offending substance touch his bare hand.

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