Halloween is almost here, so it’s time to celebrate ghouls, goblins, and paw patrol. Most people have already prepared for the holiday by decorating their yards, stocking up on candy, and watching Hocus Pocus 2, but for the family with a child with Autism, a little more preparation is required for a safe and fun holiday!
Whether your child is on the spectrum or you have a young one at home who has never celebrated Halloween before, the tips, tricks, and treats below will help you have a not-so-spooky fun time this Halloween!
A Social Story For Halloween
Social Stories are short stories with pictures that help explain the details of a particular situation or activity. A Social Story helps children learn what will happen in a specific setting and what is to be expected.
We have examples of daily social stories on our blog to give you an idea. Autism Speaks also offers a Halloween Social Story that you can download here.
Your social story should include what your child will see and hear on Halloween. You can discuss decorations, sounds, costumes,Trick-or-Treating, and more. The more your child can become familiar with the holiday before Halloween night, the easier the night will go.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Another great way to prepare your child for Trick-or-Treating is to practice! It’s fun to walk up to a door and get a yummy treat from your neighbors, but sometimes it can be overwhelming if it’s a person you don’t know or if other kids are bombarding the door.
Practice Trick-or-Treating at your own door a few times. You can also ask friends and family members to practice ringing your doorbell and Trick-or-Treating at your house. You can do this in short practice sessions leading up to Halloween.
It’s All About The Treats
The yummy treats are the best part of Halloween! However, sometimes children have allergies or are picky about the foods they would like to eat. A trick we use is to buy a bag of treats we know our children can and want to eat and keep it at the house. Once you get home from Trick-or-Treating, swap your child’s bag for the bag you already have at home. This way, your child is sure to have something they will enjoy, and you might get to keep a Butterfinger or two for yourself. 😉
Dress For Success
Dressing up as your favorite character is something children look forward to all year long, but some of the costumes can be itchy or difficult to get on and off. We have found a few costume ideas that solve both of these problems!
HGTV offers 5 easy DIY T-shirt costumes that can be made with a shirt you know your child enjoys wearing.
If DIY is not your style, Amazon offers several options for costume T-shirts that your child can wear with their favorite pair of pants!
Lastly, Target now has an adaptive line of Halloween costumes that offers costumes of your child’s favorite characters that are easy to get on and off.
Last But Not Least: Safety
Trick-or-Treating is only fun if everyone is safe. Remember to bring flashlights and have your child wear reflective shoes or light-up sneakers so will they easily be seen in the dark.
Trick-or-Treat in a group and be sure always to put one adult in charge of each child to help keep everyone together. If your child wanders off, the following can help you find each other quickly:
- Wear a brightly colored shirt to make yourself easier to find.
- Write your phone number on the inside of your childs shirt or on a sticker on the back of their shirt.
Halloween can be a spook-tacular time for all! So let us know how you best enjoy and be sure to tag us on social in your costumes. Happy Halloween!
About the Authors
Apara Autism Center is a leading provider of ABA therapy in Texas. We understand the difficulty of dealing with uncertainty and are prepared to assist you with our collaborative developmental therapy support. If you’re looking for ABA therapy near you, we have centers in Houston, Dallas, and surrounding areas. Apara Autism Center employs a team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) that can assist you with resources to help comfort your child during stressful times. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to call (844) 272-7223 or contact us with your questions and concerns.