Halloween is a fun time of year, but can be overwhelming for children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children with autism often do best when they know the routine and can follow it. Try to keep to your regular routine as much as possible, including a light healthy dinner. If things are rushed, this might be the night for an easy favourite meal that can be served cold. At dinner talk about the streets and houses you will go to and what you will do at a house (say trick-or-treat loudly, wait til they open the door, stay outside while you get a treat in your bag, and say “thank-you” in words, signs or a picture/word card).
If you child is selective or has food sensitivities, you may want to arrange and drop off treats that can be available at select houses you will go to. Make a deal in advance about how treats will be handled when you return home. If necessary have some preferred allowable treats that can be swapped for treats your child can’t tolerate.
Halloween costumes can be fun, but they can also be uncomfortable or scary. If possible, have your child try out their costume in advance. If they don’t want to wear their costume, this is one to let go. Some children may not want to go out, and may do better shelling out at their own door. For children sensitive to noise, noise cancelling earbuds or headphones might help.