Kate Swenson, a mom and creator of Finding Cooper's Voice, took the time to remind parents to be welcoming to kiddos of all backgrounds this Halloween in a now-viral Facebook post. She explained that as a parent to 7-year-old son Cooper, who has nonverbal autism, a little bit of patience can go a long way.
"Please keep in mind a lot of little people will be visiting your home," wrote Kate. "Be accepting. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues. The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you may be non-verbal. The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have allergies. The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism."
She even took it a step further by sharing how Cooper has reacted to Halloween festivities throughout the years.
"Last year, Cooper made it to exactly three houses before he pushed a pumpkin off a deck and tried to bust into the house to watch TV."
"Last year, Cooper made it to exactly three houses before he pushed a pumpkin off a deck and tried to bust into the house to watch TV," she wrote. "He also walked backwards the whole time. Yes, backwards. We were quite the sight. The year before that he made it to one house before he ran down the road, darted, rolled, cried, and [hit his] head because the WiFi on his Kindle didn't work. He didn't wear a costume the year before that . . . too itchy."
Kate explained that she's going into the holiday with a positive mindset.
"This year we are hoping for four houses, lots of fun and smiles, and time to enjoy both of our boys," she said. "And that he can use his talker to communicate. Cooper wants to go and we would never deny him the opportunity. But . . . it takes A LOT of preparation on our part and a lot of courage and patience on his part."
To that end, Kate urges other parents to stop and say hello.
"Be patient friends," she said. "Kiddos like Super Cooper don't know 'what' they are supposed to do or 'why' they are even doing it. Trick-or-treating is strange in general. Then add in costumes, sugar, people, noises, excitement, and a crazy brother and the whole situation gets escalated quickly. If you see me, know that I am sweating buckets and trying to hold it together. We love smiles and understanding and when you say hi!"