Halloween can be a stressful and overwhelming holiday for children on the spectrum.
Check out some of the ideas below for a few fun, sensory-friendly Halloween activity for the whole family to enjoy!
Arts and Crafts: We have been busy at Apara Autism Center having our kids create Halloween Arts and Crafts to take home with them. Below are some of the ‘spooky’ crafts we have done and here is a link for some additional Halloween craft ideas :
Treat or Treating in a controlled environment: Let’s be honest, trick or treating on a busy street with loud noises and scary costumes everywhere you turn can be overwhelming for many individuals, not just those on the spectrum. Create a safe and controlled environment for some ‘pretend treat-or-treating’ by having a familiar adult stand behind every door in your house. The kids can go around to each door and still pretend to knock and say “treat-or-treat” and receive some approved candy or toys. Apara Autism Center will be having three “mock trick-or-treat sessions” throughout the day on Halloween for our kiddos and parents to participate in. This can also be great practice for possibly tackling trick-or-treating the following year!
Have a ‘Spooktacular’ dinner with the family: Enjoy some delicious and ‘spooky’ treats for a Halloween dinner. Let’s your kids help pick out the menu, go grocery shopping and help prepare the meal for the whole family! Here are some fun and creative Halloween dinner ideas!
Tips for Trick-or-Treating: If you feel that your child is ready to try some trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, here are some tips for make it as successful as possible!
Break it into small chucks: Start off just walking to one home close by and give your child a break after that, then increase to two homes and a break and so on and so forth. Allowing breaks will help minimize the risk of sensory overload and meltdowns.
Visual schedules and supports: Make some visual aides and visual schedules for your child so they can better understand what is expected of them. Let them know how long they will be outside for and what to do when they get to someone’s door. There are many social stories and Halloween books to help prime your child for trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Let us know your favorites!
Finally, if you have a child who is a little bit older but still enjoys trick-or-treating or have a child that is non-verbal, consider passing out some of the adorable cards below from The Autism Community in Action (TACA).