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A Parent's Guide to an Autism Friendly Halloween

Halloween is an exciting holiday and a chance to be anyone you want to be whether that be Iron Man, PJ Mask, or The Little Mermaid, but may offer challenges for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Taking a moment to prepare and plan can help you stay stress-free. Whether you are a seasoned Autism parent or this is your child's first Halloween these tips may help your child enjoy this holiday.

1. Candy/Treats:

If your child cannot have candy or a picky eater, ask your neighbors to have a suitable alternative or go trick or treating to family and friends homes so you can have more control over what is given to your child.

2. Costumes

Let your child have a choice in their costume. This will help to ensure that they are comfortable in their outfit and are willing to wear it throughout the night. Have your child try on several costumes before Halloween and watch how they react to the clothing. Are they trying to get it off? Are they tugging at the neckline? If so, maybe its best to consider a different option. Remember, you can go trick or treating in pajamas if they are more comfortable!

3. Safety

Safety is a concern on Halloween for all children, but especially for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before the big night, have a plan of where you are going to go. You can even go trick-or-treating at friends and family members' houses so your child sees familiar faces.

4. Be flexible!

The ultimate goal is to have a fun night with your child. Even if trick-or-treating doesn't go as you planned and costumes only last a short period of time.

If trick-or-treating isn't for you, try staying home and passing out candy with your child! They may enjoy being within their own environment and looking at all the costumes. You can also watch a Halloween movie or do a fun sensory craft.


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