Well the countdown has begun to many kids’ favorite holiday, Halloween! I blogged about the Halloween Calendar which was great fun to make. I used the little pieces (windows and secret messages for each day) as reinforcers with a child on the autism spectrum. We were thinking of words that started with /r/ and I gave him the clues. Our finished product was wonderful.
I read a plea from a parent on Facebook, looking for a fox costume for his 2 year-old who had decided to be “Todd” from “The Fox and the Hound.” The fact that the movie came out in 1981, made it a bit hard to find a “Todd” costume! Thanks to the Internet, there was a posting for a fox costume and it is on order.
In looking for fun Halloween books with a good story, I found “Hallo-Wiener” by Dav Pilkey. Poor Oscar, the wiener dog, is teased because he looks like a sausage. It is time to get Halloween costumes ready and he is hoping for a very scary costume like his tormentors. His mom surprises him with a bun smothered in mustard that he is to slip into for trick or treat! Being the good son that he is, he thanked his mom and wore the costume. Now he is not only laughed at but slowed down by the cumbersome costume. Missing out on treats, he is a little late but just in time to encounter the bullying cats dressed up as a monster. Oscar saves the day and becomes the hero at the end.
I have used this cute story to teach the progression of the plot from beginning, middle and end, drawing a picture and narrating a caption for the drawings, answering inferential questions like “Why didn’t Oscar get any treats?” That was difficult for my kids on the autism spectrum to understand that he was late so the treats were gone. Breaking down the story into smaller segments helped the kids understand the “Why?” s of the story. Brainstorm within a category: what are some costumes that Oscar would have liked to get? (make them scary). Draw one and describe it.