Top Ways to Help Your Child with Autism Participate in the Halloween Fun
Costumes? Candy? Frightening décor? Halloween seems like it should be fun for all, but this holiday can be stressful for families with kiddos on the autism spectrum.
Here are some tips to make Halloween a little less scary for your family:
- Costume Concerns
Let your child get used to the costume. You can practice having your child wear parts of the costume for short periods of time. If your child wants to wear the costume a lot in the days leading up to Halloween, go ahead and let him/her! The more comfortable your child is with the costume, the more likely he/she is to wear it on the big night.
- Trick or Treat!
Practicing ‘Trick or Treating’ using your own house a few days before Halloween can help your little one to get the concept and be more relaxed about it. You can even take turns to model how to say ‘Trick or Treat’ and ‘Thank you.’ Your child can also practice opening the door and giving out the candy.
- Vocalizing or Articulation Issues?
If your child is not verbal or difficult to understand, you can get creative about how he can participate in the Trick or Treating tradition. He/she could show a note-card that says ‘Trick or Treat’ on one side and ‘Thank you’ on the other, or you could record the words on a small voice recorder that could be attached to the costume and he/she would just need to push the button.
With a little preparation, and if your child has an interest, all kiddos can participate in the Halloween tradition!
Please feel free to contact Gabi with any specific questions about how to prepare your child for Halloween and for additional strategies.
Gabi Morgan, MS, the founder, and director of A Child’s Potential has been working with children on the autism spectrum for over 20 years using the principles of applied behavior analysis with an emphasis on respect for the child and the family. She founded A Child’s Potential, Inc. with the idea that as children move through their development, professionals may come and go, but the families want and need the skills to maximize their children’s potentials throughout their lives.
A Child’s Potential, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization committed to teaching families living with autism strategies to improve their children’s social, play, and communication skills so they can participate more fully in family and community life.
This article was featured in Issue 53 – Working Toward the Future