Typically children on the autism spectrum like routine and for things to stay the same, therefore Halloween can present undeniable difficulties such as: shrieking kids, costumes and spooky lights all of which can cause sensory overload!
However on the flip-side Halloween can also be a lot of fun for a child on the spectrum. For example, many children on the autism spectrum can be enthusiastic about a character on the TV, in a movie or comic book and will enjoy the chance to dress as the character at Halloween.
And while Halloween does require some social interaction, that interaction is mostly very repetitive, which provides you with the opportunity to practice the Halloween conversation with your child on the spectrum until they are comfortable with it.
You may find social stories a good resource to help your child practice the Halloween trick or treat conversation. The social story can also explain about Halloween and give your child an idea of what to expect.
Try practicing the Halloween conversation with your child, enlist the help of another adult or sibling, give your child the ‘Halloween Trick or Treat Social Story’ and get them to practice by going outside and ringing the doorbell. When the door opens, have your child practice the trick or treat conversation. You can also practice saying thank you, when your child takes the Halloween candy.
A social story can also be used to help your child understand the rules around trick or treating, for example staying with a grown up.
A ‘Halloween Trick or Treat Social Story’ is a valuable tool when planning Halloween with your child on the autism spectrum. You can download and print off Halloween Social Stories at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/Halloween/index.html