Halloween is most children’s favorite festival. Who doesn’t love getting dressed in their favorite costume and gathering an enormous amount of candies once a year. But for children with ASD there may be some challenges. Here are some suggestions to help make it as safe as possible:
- Prepare ahead of time the route you will be taking with your child so they don’t get confused
- Keep it short. Don’t over do it by being over stimulated
- If your child doesn’t want to wear a costume it’s fine; have them wear a character T-shirt or a funny hat instead. Some children with sensory issues can’t tolerate makeup, itchy costumes, or masks.
- Practice and role play various scenarios of being polite when accepting candies
- Set up a buddy system for older children
- Know your child’s limits, and stay positive and calm!
Be prepared that your child may not want to go out go Trick-or-Treating and that is fine. You can have a small party at your house instead and invite a small amount of children for candies and play games to celebrate. This may be a good opportunity to get social with neighborhood children by inviting a few over and making it more intimate.
Being a parent of an ASD child is challenging, but being prepared can keep him/her safe. Flexibility and having reasonable expectations may ease the experience. Most important, try to have fun with your child. They grow up so quickly!
My favorite quote is, “This too shall pass.” Life is filled with memorable moments. Halloween is just one day. Enjoy!