Photo of young man in spectrum design with quote and Halloween icons

Are you sitting comfortably? Because we're celebrating Halloween with an extra special Spooky Spectrum Story.

This year we interviewed IndieAndy, autistic content creator. He chatted about his fear of the unknown and why preparation is key when it comes to social events. Andy also had a few tricks up his sleeve for finding the right costume, and he even treated us to some spooky stories of his own...

What is being autistic like for you?

Being autistic is not something I see as a bad thing, nor should others feel like that. To me, it's a massive part of my own being and something I look at positively. It can be challenging, especially from a social perspective as I don't really get the 'unwritten' rules of society. I often feel that people misunderstand what I mean because I tend to go ‘around the houses’ to get to my point. But what I feel I lack in social understanding, I show in my creativity/outside of the box thinking.

It's easy for me to show what I mean rather than say it, which I feel is influenced by being autistic.

What do you find scary in life?

I guess the unknown is something that has always lingered over me. Of course we can't predict what is going to happen. I just like knowing what to expect so I can just prepare myself.

But even though the unknown is scary, it is good to at least dip your toe in & take the plunge because you may find that you enjoy yourself.

What tip would you give to autistic people and their families who want to enjoy Halloween?

For me personally, I always found wearing Halloween costumes tricky, as well as putting stuff on my face to fit the costume. Making sure the autistic person is wearing something comfortable that they also enjoy wearing is the most important thing. My suggestion for everyone would really be to plan out what you are doing.

Uncertainty is something I find tricky as an autistic person, so allowing time to get ready for Halloween by using social stories can be really helpful.

As an autistic person, do you find Halloween difficult from a social point of view?

Yes absolutely. This is mainly due to expectations. For example, having to be sociable (or at least that's how I feel honestly). Sometimes I can be very outgoing and chatty when I am in the right headspace. If I'm not, then it becomes harder to engage with people. Now I do like a good party when I am left to my own devices which allows me to open up to people, even with new people.

How do you usually celebrate Halloween?

I used to go to parties to celebrate Halloween as a kid. Then later, for a few years, I would go out for drinks in Newcastle with friends. Now I don't typically go out for Halloween. But my fiancé and I do make sure that others celebrate Halloween in the right way by getting sweets for the trick or treaters who come knocking on our door. There was so many last year to the point we ran out of sweets. I'm expecting the same for this year.

Do you have a Halloween story? Tell us!

I have a story that is pretty creepy which made me less skeptical about the paranormal. I was living with my now fiancé Nicola at her mum's. It was a very typical Sunday and nothing out of the ordinary was happening...

Then…I was talking to Nicola on the landing when the strangest thing happened…

In the middle of talking, the bathroom light which was left on suddenly turned off and we both heard a faint voice speaking to us. The bathroom has a cord which needs to be pulled, but there wasn't an issue with the electricity...it was very spooky. The voice we heard was a faint female voice which was indecipherable. It was all very sudden and before we realised what was happening it was over.

That was my first ever paranormal experience and it made me a believer. Nicola did say to me early on in our relationship that the house has had ghost visitors...so was it just a relative passing on through or something more? Who knows?

That’s terrifying! Any other spooky stories or tales from friends you'd like to tell us?

My fiancé also has a story which is rather spooky. As a child, she had a "friend" - an elderly lady who would come and play with her. But the odd thing about this is that Nicola was singing songs that she couldn't have possibly have heard of as they were really old songs which were sung in the 20s and 30s. It’s possible she learned the songs from the elderly lady. We assume that this lady was the ghost of Nicola’s relative.

 

You can keep up with IndieAndy's latest adventures on YouTube, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

spider iconTrick or treating tips for parents

Is your autistic child trick or treating this year? Check out our handy tips to help them prepare for Halloween.

Read our Halloween tips