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5 Ways to Prepare For Halloween if Your Child Has Autism

Halloween is just a few weeks away, and we know the kiddos are counting down! Collecting the candy, and dressing up in costume, what's not to love about Halloween?

However, children diagnosed with autism may not find this holiday as exciting as other kids. In fact, it may cause them anxiety and stress. It can sometimes be difficult for children with autism to know the difference between what is real and what is make-believe.

Here are five things you can do with your child to prepare for the holiday so they can have an enjoyable Halloween Holiday!


Have a mock trick-or-treating event before the actual holiday. Have your child try on their costume before Halloween night. If your child is sensitive to specific materials, stay away from them to avoid aggravation. If smell or touch aggravates your child, face or body makeup may not be a good idea. Play around before the big night and see what works and what doesn't work.

Use Social Stories

Find a social story or create your own social story with pictures that you can read to your child explaining what will happen on Halloween Night. Then, read it multiple times leading up to Halloween night.

Try to avoid surprises.

Halloween is supposed to be scary but fun. However, scary situations or surprises can often cause anxiety for people with autism. If possible, try and scope out the neighborhood you will be trick-or-treating. If you are friendly with your neighbors, ask them if they will have a scary theme at their house so you can avoid those houses or make other preparations.

Trick or Treat with familiar people

Spend the night walking around with people your child knows and is comfortable with. This can be friends, family members, or even classmates. This can help ease anxiety for your child.

Stay Home

If you think going out and trick-or-treating is something your child will not enjoy, you can always stay home and celebrate! Let your child help you with passing out candy to other trick-or-treaters or have a family-friendly Halloween Party! Sometimes this is the best way for your child to avoid stress.

Halloween can be a fun night for children with autism. But it just may take a little extra planning!


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