Magic or Disaster

Planning activities with Ryan can be a challenge because it’s hard to predict how receptive to participation he’ll be on any given day.  I’ve come to anticipate either magic or disaster, but nothing in between.

The Halloween season is filled with opportunities for fantastic adventures and/or utter failures.  We experienced the full range.

Halloween weekend, my mother suggested we take Ryan to a corn maze at a small teaching farm.  Warily, I agreed, knowing Ryan would either love running through the corn, or he would freak out and demand freedom and we’d have to figure out the shortest route out of the corn field.

I’m pleased to report, the day could not have gone better.

Our first stop at the farm was a petting zoo, in which kids could pet and feed pigs, goats, sheep, llamas… Well, they could feed the animals as long as their parents were willing to spend $1 per lettuce leaf;  I was not willing to do that terribly long.

The biggest hit of the day was the mice.  Ryan was totally focused.  I think he would have played with them all afternoon if we had let him.

Stu and I have since brought Ryan to a pet store to let him visit some mice, but we’ve decided to hold off on any pet purchases until we’ve sold our apartment.  Somehow, Stu thinks the sight and smell of rodents would be a turn-off to potential buyers.

In the corn maze, Ryan was delighted.  The maze featured nine numbered mailboxes, each of which contained a piece of a map of the maze.  Ryan loved running through the maze looking for numbers, and taping together the little map sections.  Truly, I can’t imagine that day going any better.

The next day was Halloween.  Ryan had given me zero indication of what sort of costume he wanted to wear, so he wound up like this:

Stu and I have debated whether Ryan was a Pizza Monster or a slice of pizza being eaten by a monster.  In any case, he was gluten free.

Ryan was reluctant to leave the house to go trick or treating; he kept asking to watch cartoons.  Once we dragged him outside, he was happy to run down the sidewalks and look at decorations in the dark, but he gave no indication of noticing any costumes or caring about what people put in his plastic pumpkin.  When we got home, he dutifully dumped out his candy on the floor and ate one piece, but the haul has gone largely unnoticed since then.  He does, however, like to hide random toys in the pumpkin.

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Meredith Zolty
My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at
Meredith Zolty


My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at

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