Halloween has always been one of my most favorite holidays, the weather is just getting cooler, and getting to watch all the kiddos running around having a great time, is just the icing on the cake. Halloween can also be a very challenging time for our friends with ASD. So here are some tips that we hope will make your child’s Halloween more enjoyable for both of you. As a mom of a kiddo with ASD Halloween used to be a very stressful time for both of us, until I learned so great tips from other seasoned parents and professionals that helped us.
- Planning, planning and planning, this is probably one that we don’t really have to tell you, because we know that as a parent to a child with ASD you already have plans and back up plans for those plans.
- If your child with ASD prefers certain textures, try incorporating their preferred clothes into their Halloween costumes, whether it is a costume that can go over what they prefer to wear, or even adding to their most preferred items. Try wearing the costume for a few days ahead of time just to so they can become more comfortable with it.
- Talk about the evening, or even create a visual story for your child with ASD, to walk them through the steps of what trick or treating will look like. One kiddo even had a neighbor that was very generous and let us practice going up to her door and ringing her door bell a few days before Halloween. On the night of Halloween, for the first few houses, the family would rehearse what was going to happen all the way from walking up to the door, and all the way down to how many pieces of candy he was allowed to take out of the bucket.
- Remember you are the number one expert in what your child will be able to handle, so just because your friends kiddo might be able to handle going for several hours, your kiddo might only be able to tolerate 5 or 6 houses and that is ok we love to celebrate each of those accomplishments.
- Consider trick or treating with a group of peers that your child might be comfortable with. Blue bucket or not? That is up to you, everyone has their own preferences and opinions on this subject.
- Be sure to already have a plan for what to do with the candy. If your child has dietary restrictions there maybe many candies that they might not be able to enjoy. For one of our friends they enjoyed trading in their candy for a more preferred treat at home.
- Driving around the neighborhood that you plan to trick or treat in so that you can have an idea of which house has the bright strobe lights, or the realistic decorations.
- Use this outing as a chance to work work on those social skills.
- Try not to get far from home, or in our case we liked to keep our car close by in case our son became overwhelmed and needed to go back to the car.
- Don’t forget to make it a treat, for both of you. Yes there is more work and preparation that will go into the night, but don’t forget above all else make memories.
Watch our YouTube video on how to prepare for any holiday here!