Monday, October 28, 2019

Autism Answer: My Sustainable Halloween Tip - Use What You Have And Discuss Disabilities

Pictured: My youngest brother, Rye, holding my second oldest son, Tyran. Halloween, 1996

Firstly, I encourage you to read the article I wrote several years ago for Dr. Lynette Louise ("The Brain Broad") that includes incredibly valuable and important tips here: Halloween: The Holiday Made for Autism (With These Important Tips)

Secondly, a reporter was asking for a sustainable Halloween tip the other day. Well, as you know, I'm totally into sustainability. It's groovy, man! Not only is it groovy, it will help us stay alive and not live harmful, cruel lives in the meantime. 

So, I'd love to share my tip with you as well! Because I want us to stay alive and not live harmful, cruel lives in the meantime.

My Sustainable Halloween Tip: 

Use what you have. Play dress-up rather than buying a costume. This is not only sustainable, but fun! Also, if you or your children have a disability or sensitivity, Halloween is an annual opportunity to dress-up and introduce yourself to the neighbors with your challenges in mind. Explain why you always wear the noise-canceling headphones that you cleverly included in your costume (or equally cleverly, kept incongruent to your costume), or ask for help reaching the inaccessible door while discussing how it affects your daily life, or share a story about a unique issue you have due to lack of sight or hearing. Sustainability is about making choices that can be sustained. Hence, not purchasing a costume but rather using what already is, as well as bringing your unique issues and needs out into the world on a day when doorknocking and chit-chatting is expected and encouraged, addresses sustainability both for the environment and for our culture.

My Sustainable Halloween Example: 

Pictured: My sister, one of my brothers (Dar), and me, dressed as a gypsy, pirate, and homeless drunk respectively, Halloween 1987ish. 

Everything we are wearing was found in mom's closet or around the house. My brother, Dar, wasn't expected to say "Trick-or-Treat" but mom did encourage him to walk up to each door, hold out his pillowcase, and offer some sort of nod or gesture of appreciation for each piece of candy. Every year Dar got more comfortable with the tradition and neighbors learned to be more comfortable with us. Dar is over 30 years old now and sometimes goes out on Halloween with his nieces and nephews and other times stays home to hand out candy. Again, it is a fantastic time of year to introduce himself and his differences to folks while feeling fun and a little less conspicuous than usual.

Sustainability matters. Taking advantage of opportunities to be sustainable with purpose and inclusion is powerful. I highly recommend it!

Have a fun, safe, sustainable, inclusive, informative, and spooky Halloween, friends!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)