As autism parents, we know that our kiddos can have trouble acclimating to certain things around them, especially in relation to bright lights and loud noises. So what may be super fun for neurotypical kids, like a Halloween party or Trick or Treating, may be stressful & triggering for a child with autism. Been there mama! And sometimes the struggle is real and you just want your baby to enjoy his childhood however he wants 💛
Below are some tips and tricks to help your little one enjoy the holiday fun as much as his/her peers
- Costumes – try to avoid costumes that could cause sensory overload. Anything with a lot of pieces, that’s too big, or is uncomfortable, is not going to fly. All ASD kiddos are different with their likes & dislikes, and my son Harrison is a stickler about anything touching his head. So when it comes to costumes I generally have to steer clear of wigs & masks. Although he’ll wear a hat or hood. It’s really about just knowing what your own child is comfortable with.
- Trick or Treating – take a picture on your phone of your child dressed in costume & ready to go, just in case they bolt while out in the neighborhood and you need help looking. Neighbors that know your child may not recognize them in costume.
– Bring headphones & a bright flashlight in case things get too loud or too dark.
– Be aware of the Teal & Blue Pumpkin Projects; houses with a teal pumpkin out front have non food treats to give out for kiddos with allergies or sensory issues, and kiddos carrying a blue pumpkin have autism.
– Try to stay close to home and start before it gets dark to minimize the risk of breakdowns and be able to get home quickly if one occurs.
- Halloween Parties – allow your little one to play with a variety of Halloween decorations throughout the month so they don’t find them scary once they’re on display.
– Practice putting masks & costumes on and off, so they know that people in costume are just their family & friends playing dress up.