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Halloween Tips for Children with Autism 

Anaheim Autism Assessment


Halloween can be so much fun! Children get to dress up and get loads of candy. What could be better? Below are some Halloween Tips for Children with Autism for families of children with autism to have a fun and safe Halloween.

Halloween may be a fantastic and thrilling celebration, but among the stressors that make Halloween less fun for our loved ones on the autism spectrum might be the lack of structure and hidden faces. We have gathered a few tips and tricks that you can use to help make Halloween enjoyable for the entire family with the spooky night creeping up on us!A joint routine is one of the most significant facets of the lives of most children with autism. It will make life a lot smoother for those with autism to know when little things like brushing your teeth or falling into bed are going to happen. It is nice to remember to keep to your usual day where you can, even if it is Halloween.
Costumes can be one of the trickiest elements of Halloween, when the entire night may be spoiled by an awkward outfit. Be sure to try to select a costume that suits the usual wardrobe of your child, and be sure to help your child wear their costume a few varying times before Halloween, so that they can get used to how it looks.It may be nice to find an alternative to trick-or-treating if Halloween is a little daunting for your kids. Then you and your child should work together to prepare decorations, snacks, and guests; nothing is a surprise and you can always enjoy your Halloween!
Imagine throwing a Halloween party at your home.It is important to retain some normalcy, whether you are going out or staying in it. Try picking a place to keep the house fully normal: no lights, additions, spooky songs, etc. That way, if they are distracted by the other festivities, there is still a quiet and natural place that you and your child will go to calm down.

1.    Explain It!
Children with Autism may not understand the concept of Halloween. Go over what activities Halloween includes with your child in advance. You can even create a drawing or a small home-made book to explain it.

2.    Set Expectations!
Just like with most children, setting expectations ahead of time is a simple and highly effective way to manage behavior.  When children with Autism are given simple rules and expectations, it’s easier for them to act in socially appropriate ways. Some children with Autism will respond well to a written list or a picture list of rules for Halloween.

3.    Practice!
Practice what your family will be doing on that day. You can practice having your child ring the doorbell, say, “Trick or Treat,” and wait for candy without taking it or walking into the home. Walk around the neighborhood your family will be trick or treating in if needed.

4.    Timing is Key!
Ensure that you plan for an appropriate time to go and an appropriate amount of time out during activities. Plan your Halloween activities according to your child’s needs. You may want to start trick or treating earlier, so it is still light out. You might even choose to go for only an hour or two to ensure the event isn’t too long for your family.

5.    Teach Social Skills!
If you are doing activities with other children, use that opportunity to teach your child with autism how to interact appropriately with others.

6.    Costume Considerations!
There are so many options for costumes. Try to choose one that your child enjoys, but one that is also comfortable to wear for a long period of time. Making your own costumes can be a great family activity. Children with Autism may have certain things that bother them in a costume. Be aware of your child’s level of comfort with certain fabrics and textures.

7.    Avoid Sensory Overload!
Keep an eye on your child’s behaviors. If there is a house that might have too much going on, you might avoid it. Look out for sensory overload symptoms, and watch the behaviors that your child may show when they are done trick or treating. You may choose to bring a comforting toy for your child to hold onto or you might want to take breaks throughout the activities.

8.    Candy, Candy, Candy!
Always check your child’s candy to make sure it is safe for them to eat. If your child has dietary restrictions, you should do what you can to provide candy alternatives, and even avoid putting “restricted” foods into their bag.

9.    Lastly, have lots of Fun!

Please contact Acuity Behavior Solutions if you need any more information about Halloween Tips for Children with Autism!