Halloween is a holiday full of imagination, being with friends, dressing up, and collecting treats. For a child with autism, however, some Halloween traditions such as wearing a certain costume, going trick-or-treating, or even hearing the doorbell ring repeatedly may be challenging. Planning ahead can help make the day successful and safe for the entire family. Here are some tips to help make the occasion a treat for your child this year.
Keep it comfortable and easy. Make something festive for your child to wear out of materials that are easy on the skin.
Avoid face painting and masks if your child is texture sensitive.
Keep an extra change of clothes in case your child becomes uncomfortable and wants to remove the costume.
Practice at home by having your child knock on the door to say “trick or treat” and giving them healthy goodies.
Limit the amount of time spent or the number of places your child will visit if necessary.
Bring supplies such as a flashlight for safety, earplugs or earphones to block out loud noises, and a favorite item for comfort.
If you don’t want your child to have candy or sweets, consider bringing along wrapped snacks or other small treats like stickers, matchbox cars or plastic animals to have others give your child.
Be sure to monitor treats for dietary restrictions or allergies.
One way to enjoy the holiday without overindulging is to allow your child to pick one piece of candy each day to have with a snack or after a meal.
Ask your child to choose her favorite candy to keep and trade the rest for a small gift, special privileges, or time to do something she enjoys.
Practice greeting people at your door and giving out candy.
If you think the hustle and bustle might be too much for your child, or if you’re worried visitors might come too late, leave a basket of treats on the porch with instructions not to ring your doorbell.
It’s OK to cut things off early. Turn off your porch light and lock your door when your child’s had enough.