Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Essay: To Fool, be Fooled or not to be Fooled?

Happy(?) April Fools Day?

Today I almost wish I lived in some far off place instead of the Midwestern part of the United States because in some parts of the world April Fools Day (today, April 1) is not practiced. In other parts of the world, tricks are only traditionally practiced before noon, and anyone playing tricks after that time is considered to be the fool. I can handle a morning of trickery. I am not sure I'm up for a day of it as I'm typing this up in the morning of April 1.

My husband, dear one as he is, started early by playing little tricks on both our boys (one autistic, one not) last night. It's all good for him because he won't be home all day with two little tricksters who are home from school on Spring Break. (Hmm. Maybe I should plan a really good prank on him to get even...)

I suppose April Fools Day is both good and bad for a person with autism. The pranks and jokes expose them to humor, which is a good social mechanism. Being fooled can also help them learn from experience. I'm sure the benefits of humor is what my husband thinking when he filled my sons' minds with April Fool Day jokes. Surely, he didn't mean to set up a little prank on me...

The bad news is that April Fools Day can be a hey day for bullies, who may opt for cruel pranks rather than merely funny ones. People with autism or Asperger's Syndrome (AS) could be easy targets. Fortunately I do not have any horror stories to share. Unfortunately, I'm sure there is someone out there who does.

On the other hand, someone with autism or AS might have to learn the hard way by playing a socially unacceptable joke on someone. I can see this happening rather easily and can only hope the consequences will not be too dire.

My advice to those on the spectrum is not to be too personal with the jokes. (It may not be a good idea to tell someone they stink when they don't) and to go for simple rather than elaborate. (The more complicated the joke, the more likely you are to get in trouble.) Also, stay away from the dangerous stuff that might hurt someone. (When I was young I got into a bit of trouble by putting a lot of soap in someone's drink thinking it would be funny, not realizing that I was potentially poisoning that person. Fortunately the drink tasted awful, so not much was consumed.)

April Fools Day can be fun and I hope everyone out there enjoys this funky day. That said, just remember not to believe any wild stories on the web or elsewhere because they are most likely to be hoaxes.

In the meantime, does anyone have a good prank to play on one's spouse, friend or family member? I need ideas!! Of course my husband will not be looking at my comments today...
Oh well, please share them with me anyway. Horror stories or links to good April Fools Day hoaxes are welcome too. Have a fun and safe day.

P.S. Don't forget to check out my profile today! ; )

Update: I changed my profile back to normal on April 2.


mommy~dearest said...

Love the profile!

Mel said...

I found your wonderful blog through a search for autism blogs on Google.

I have a 7 year old nephew, Brock, who has autism. He can not speak and can’t use the restroom by himself. I love him dearly and think he is a darling boy!

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in the fundraising event I’m doing on my blog tomorrow in honor of Autism Awareness Day.

I will visit your site often, thanks for showing autism in a positive and creative light.

Anonymous said...

I read this too late to see the profile :(

I once put the cap to contact solution in my dad's drink thinking it would be funny. I didn't think of the harmful nature of that either.


Cassavaugh Family said...

I once told my husband I was pregnant but wasn't. I also supervised a team who decided to prank one of our co-workers. I knew ahead of time and didn't stop, because it really was funny to me. They taped up the entry to this persons pod and filled it with packaging popcorn.

I agree there are appropriate and inappropriate things to do on April 1st. My children haven't even caught on yet that its April 1st and hoping that if I don't change the 8 calendars hanging in the house it will just not be obvious.

However, I am going for the non threatening option of fun food for a joke tonight. I can't post the URL for a picture of it and where I got the idea, due to the requirement for the blog post. But if you want it I'd be happy to pass it along. I'm making dinner for a family tonight who just had a baby. We will show up first with a "Chicken Legs TV dinner tray" which is really cupcakes made to look like 3 pieces of chicken legs, mashed potatoes, corn and peas and a real cupcake. We of course will also bring the real diner but I think they will get a kick out of it, as will my kids once I start creating! Can't wait.