Sensory-Friendly Tips: Here is How to Make Halloween Fun for Your Child With Autism!

October 1, 2022

Happy Halloween!

Fall has come and the holiday of Jack-O’-lanterns and ghouls will soon be upon us. For many kids and families, Halloween is a highly anticipated holiday. Parties, costumes, trick or treating, and neighborhood lawns transformed by spooky decorations can make this time of year special. For some these same highlights can be why Halloween may be complex to navigate. Changes in routines, unexpected interactions, tight or uncomfortable costumes, and crowds of people can be overwhelming and stressful. Here are some tips to help make Halloween more enjoyable for the entire family.

  • Find a costume you can make out of clothing your child already feels comfortable in. For example, a pink t-shirt and pair of orange shorts is a simple Dora the Explorer costume. Or find pajamas that double as a costume and allow your child to wear them until the big day! Comfort comes first!
  • Practice! If you plan to trick-or-treat in your neighborhood, take frequent walks following the same route you plan to take and say hi to neighbors along the way. If your family wants to attend a carnival or fair, find similar events that you can ease into, like a farmer’s market or a pumpkin patch.
  • TACA has some cool cards your child can use to hand to the adult opening their home door that may facilitate trick or treating. Check out the link below!
  • Talk about it! Talk through what you plan to do, whom you plan to see and where you plan to go. Show your child pictures and remind them of coping tools and strategies that work for them. Consider using Halloween books, social stories, or even pictures from previous Halloweens.
  • If you go trick-or-treating, make a backup plan. Bring along comfort items and plan for breaks.

Lastly, if Halloween isn’t for you and your child, that’s okay! Make October 31st memorable in your own way. Watch your favorite movie and have everyone in your family pick their own special treat!

For more Halloween resources check out these helpful sites.