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Halloween Tips For Children Affected By Autism

October 19, 2021

fall activities

Halloween is an exciting holiday for kids; however, it may present obstacles and challenges for children affected by autism spectrum disorder. Here are some tips to help your family plan for a successful Halloween celebration this year.

Before Halloween:

  • Scan & Plan: walk through your neighborhood and scan for any decorations, loud noises, animals, etc. that might cause a change in your child’s behavior 
  • Bring your child with you and encourage him/her to identify what they like and don’t like.
  • Turn this into a fun activity with your child and plan the fun night together by drawing a map for the trick-or-treating route!
  • Create a visual story (or work with your BCBA) that matches the route you and your child have outlined. Include pictures to help your child prepare for the day’s activities
  • Set expectations: maybe trick-or-treating to just a couple of houses is a lot for your kiddo, maybe your kiddo needs a maximum # of houses as their limit. Identify the expectation and review regularly before the big day
  • Try on costumes before-hand! Make sure the costume is comfortable, without material or accessories that are irritating
  • Practice with a neighbor before-hand
  • Practice important safety skills like crossing the street, holding hands or staying near an adult
  • Practice an appropriate break request, walking door to door can be tiring for all of us!

On The Day of Halloween

  • Know your child’s limits and only do what they can handle
  • Timing is everything-go earlier if your child is afraid of the dark (likely to be more quiet early on as well)
  • Go with friends or family that your child enjoys spending time with·   Most importantly, have fun! Take comfort in your preparation and enjoy the holiday with your kiddo!
Father playing with his little girl at home Father playing with his little girl at home