Here’s a Halloween Tip from IAT’s Occupational Therapist, Eve!
Create your own Halloween culture! It can be easy to think that we have to conform to traditional Halloween activities of hours of trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, and dressing up in stuffy, itchy costumes. But sometimes these activities can create more stress than fun for our loved ones with Autism. Consider these alternatives that can make the season just as fun!
Consider allowing your child to wear whatever they want on Halloween, not just a costume. Halloween is all about freedom to wear and be whatever you want anyway. Your child can carry their favorite toy! Do they want to carry their favorite dinosaur? Great! They are a dinosaur trainer! Do they like to carry their teddy bear around? Super! Zoologist!
Take advantage of your neighborhood’s TRUNK-or-Treat! You can take as little or as long as you want to allow your child to collect treats.
If your child has a hard time saying Trick-or-Treat, they can hand out spooky cards instead that might say “Trick-or-Treat!”
Use social stories, a book, or talk about trick-or-treating before you decide to venture out Halloween night. You could also practice on a couple of helpful neighbors without the costumes and crowds before Halloween night, so the full combination of trick-or-treating, costumes, and screaming neighbors can be a little easier to tolerate.
You don’t have to go out to participate in trick-or-treating on Halloween. For some kids, a big win would be to hand out some treats to kids coming to your door! That is still a new adventure that can be celebrated!
Watch a Halloween movie at home on Halloween night, and make a fun treat.
Make a fun simple Halloween craft on Halloween.
Make your own candy if you need to avoid sugars and dyes.
Play some fun Halloween music and spend some time together decorating your home for Halloween.
Talk to your neighbors before Halloween if you want to trick-or-treat in your neighborhood or on your street. If your child needs a healthier option than candy, give them to your neighbors to hand to your child when your come to their door Halloween night.
If your child is small enough, take a wagon and put a favorite blanket/pillow/lovey in the wagon so your child always has a safe place to go between houses.
Have fun with whatever you decide to do on Halloween. And remember to celebrate the small steps, no matter how small.