With Halloween just a few weeks away, it’s time pick out costumes, put up our favorite spooky decorations, and look forward to a night of trick-or-treating with family and friends. We love seeing the joy that Halloween can bring to kids everywhere, and children with special needs are no exception.
We often hear from parents looking for advice on what they might do to help their child with autism fully enjoy the festivities. Below are a few of the more common questions, along with some advice that we hope will help you and your family have a fun, safe, and happy Halloween:
What kind of costume would be best for my child?
Many children on the autism spectrum have sensory sensitivities that should be considered when choosing the right costume. Avoid materials that could be too rough, heavy, constricting, or otherwise uncomfortable for your child. If you have a costume picked out, we’d recommend having your child try it out before the holiday to make sure it’s something they’ll be comfortable in.
My child has a hard time with transitions and new situations. What can we do to make Halloween fun?
This is a very common concern, and the best way to address it is by practicing as much as possible beforehand. Walk with your child around the neighborhood following the path you plan to take. You can practice going up to the door and ringing the doorbell if you have a friendly neighbor willing to help out, or even at your own home. Just be sure to have some sweet treats ready to hand out so your child can experience the same rewards waiting for them on Halloween.
If your child is in ABA therapy, reach out to their BCBA for more tips on ways to practice that will be best suited to your child’s needs.
What should I do if my child has food allergies or a restricted diet?
If your child can’t have some of the more common items distributed on Halloween because of allergies or dietary concerns, consider bringing a bag of snacks that your child is used to and you know they will enjoy. You can drop these in their bag at each door so they don’t miss out on the experience of walking house to house.
What are some other trick-or-treating options available in our community?
There are also indoor options for kids that would prefer daytime trick or treating with smaller groups. Here are some local libraries that would welcome your child to enjoy their event:
Sterling Heights Public Library
@ October 24th, 2018 from 10:00am – 12:00pm
Royal Oak Public Library
@ October 27th, 2018 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Ann Arbor District Library
@ October 31st, 2018 from 10:00am – 10:30am & from 11:30am – 12:00pm
In addition, Center for Autism Outreach Services (OUCARES) at Oakland University is hosting a Halloween party open to children of all ages and their parents on Oct 21! Please RSVP to [email protected] with your name and the number of people attending. Space is limited.
Club Venetian Banquet Center (29310 John R Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071)
@ October 21st, 2018 from 10:00am – 3:00pm
We hope all of our families have a safe and fun Halloween season!