While trick-or-treating can be an exciting and sugar-coated tradition for many, children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder can often find Halloween to be an overwhelming and stressful holiday. Before you take your child out, consider these tips to help make Halloween a fun evening for you and your family.
Know Your Child
As you think about your child's costume, keep in mind their tactile preferences. Are there certain materials your child has strong feelings towards or against? Does s/he have an aversion to masks, hats or accessories? Allow your child's preferences to help guide their costume choice.
Make a Plan
Talk with your child about your trick-or-treating route and what they can expect that evening. What should they say? If your child is nonverbal, consider printing a sign
like this one
that says "Trick-or-Treat" for them.
Walk your trick-or-treating route a day or two in advance. If your child is feeling nervous about ringing doorbells and saying "trick-or-treat", ask a few family members and friends if you can practice at their house.
Trick-or-treating can be fun, but don't be afraid to change the plan if you and/or your child stops having a good time. Sometimes there are factors you just can't predict ahead of time. If it doesn't work out, consider inviting some friends over for a Halloween movie and popcorn, or find a local organization hosting a trunk-or-treat.