In the magical world of Halloween, one family’s night turned into an unexpected adventure. Follow along as a determined mom navigates trick-or-treating with her autistic daughter, weaving a tale of candy, community, and the powerful bond between a parent and child on this spooky night.
Feature Image Credit: MicEnin /Depositphotos.com.
Amid the excitement of Halloween, a blended family with five kids faced an unexpected challenge. The couple, comprised of OP (original poster) and her husband, had children ranging from 3 to 14, including a 6-year-old with autism. While the family practiced trick-or-treating signs for the little one, things did not go smoothly as practiced. The night took a sour turn when, at one house, a woman excluded the autistic child from receiving a goodie bag, insisting she say “trick or treat.” Despite OP’s explanation of their daughter’s autism, the woman remained obstinate.
A Mother’s Stand
Due to the woman’s refusal to understand the unique needs of her autistic daughter, the family returned the candy bags from that house and left. Seeking solidarity, OP reached out to fellow parents in her daughter’s classes, both general education and special education, alerting them to the incident and the address to spare their children a similar ordeal. Word spread swiftly, leading to a notable decline in visitors to the unsympathetic neighbor’s house that Halloween night.
The Unraveling Fallout
However, the fallout extended beyond the confines of the neighborhood. The situation escalated with posts on community forums like Nextdoor. The unsympathetic woman started fanning the flames of controversy by posting about OP and her kids which has left OP questioning whether she was wrong for warning others about the neighbor’s lack of empathy.
Social media users voiced a range of perspectives in response to the post. helpthe0ld emphasized the joy of giving and the understanding that not all kids can adhere to social norms.
“We gave out full-size candy bars last night and there were kids who were so excited they forgot to say trick-or-treat or thank you. Did I complain or make a fuss? No! I saw a couple of kids grabbing extras and it didn’t bother me. It’s Halloween and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s wonderful when kids are polite but you also have to recognize that there are kids like your daughter and my son who sometimes can’t do that or who are just too excited by everything going on to remember all the social niceties.”
Chantellemfalls weighed in on the debate, emphasizing that it’s not a stranger’s responsibility to police children’s manners during Halloween festivities.
“The way I see it, no matter what the reason is for a kid not saying trick or treat or thank you, it is not some random strangers job to police children’s manners. Leave it to parents. And honestly, if it’s a kid that’s really that rude and the parents aren’t doing anything about it, one person holding candy hostage isn’t going to teach them anything.”
Expressing strong disapproval of mistreating neurodivergent kids, Katja1236 asserted that those who exhibit such behavior deserve the consequences.
“People who are mean to kids because they’re neurodivergent, or because they have disabilities, or even just because they’re shy or don’t jump through hoops on command deserve what they get.”
Meanwhile, swedeintheus highlighted the simplicity of the Halloween tradition, where candy is given without expecting anything in return.
“I live in one of the go-to neighborhoods for trick or treating and we regularly get over 500 kids come to our door. I don’t make them perform for the candy. There is no transaction here beside you show up, you get candy. No costume? You still get candy. Senior in high school? Awesome, here is some candy.”
Prudent_Border5060 focused on the consequences of the woman’s assumption and the importance of offering an apology when one makes a mistake.
“You didn’t mention targeting this woman. You said what happened to your daughter…She made an assumption that led to this behavior from others. She failed to apologize. She probably took it as rudeness, not because your daughter is autistic. Honestly, she got what she had coming. When you mess up, you apologize.”
The overwhelming majority of comments supported OP, asserting that she was not wrong in taking a stand against the neighbor’s refusal to give candy to her autistic daughter. Users emphasized the importance of empathy, understanding, and not penalizing children for various reasons, including neurodivergence or shyness.
The consensus leaned towards a collective agreement that kindness during Halloween should prevail over enforcing social norms, and that the consequences faced by the unsympathetic neighbor were a result of her assumptions and lack of apology.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?
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