How can you make trick-or-treating with autism easier?
When my son was younger, we had a hard time going trick-or-treating. He seemed to like the idea of it, but there were just some things… ya know? Trick-or-treating with Autism can be tricky. There were things I found myself apologizing for, being frustrated with, or that he was super frustrated with. Over time we’ve come up with solutions that are helpful for us. I’ve also checked in with one of my mommy groups for some of their creative solutions as well. Today I’m sharing these tips with you to help your trick-or-treat go more smoothly this year. I’m also including a free printable addressing some of the common problems to help you spread awareness among your neighborhood.
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1. Prepare your neighbors for what to expect.
I have a free printable (grab it here), that you can leave on the doors or in the mailboxes of most houses in your neighborhood. It’s a great way to spread awareness for the whole neighborhood. Not just only for your child, but any other children in the area.
2. Try going earlier in the evening.
We started going trick-or-treating while the sun was still out for a few years. Most people didn’t seem to mind, if they were caught off guard. If they actually weren’t ready, they just wouldn’t answer the door.
3. Avoid masks or anything that your child is going to find uncomfortable.
Do a test run of the costume and see if they can tolerate the sensations or wearing any part of it. A mom in my group made a good point – We will have a better Halloween if we let our children decide how to celebrate rather than forcing upon them our ideal night. If that means no costume, or half a costume, that’s OK.
4. This may be a no-brainer for some, but…
If your child is scared by all the crazy noises that come with Halloween, ear defenders may be a must for your trick-or-treat outings. When you see how much they help, it won’t matter if it completes the look or not (see #3). 😉
5. Try having them pass out candy instead.
You can still give them a little stash of their own from what you buy of course. However, they may have a better time not having to walk around or be overwhelmed by sights and sounds. One mom brilliantly suggested sitting outside and placing a large sign in the yard stating, “Any scary masks or costumes please wait at the bottom of the driveway.”
6. Kids who ring the doorbell a dozen times
Or walk right into the house and the doors open… I think most of us have been there! You can try walking right up to the door with them if this is happening; I doubt anyone would mind!
7. Light issues?
If all the strobe style lights or the darkness is frightening (and going early isn’t an option), give your kiddo a flashlight to carry with them as they walk past houses. Being able to focus on the light will be distracting and soothing.
8. If you’ve got a runner
You can use a trackable device like Angel Sense, or you can try a rope that each of you hold on to one end of. Perhaps tie one end of the rope to their bucket. If you have a candy lover, I doubt they’ll be letting go of that bucket at any cost!
9. Look for a trunk-or-treat in your area.
Lots of shopping centers or churches are now having these. It’s a great way to make sure that children stay safe, and there isn’t usually anything too too scary.
I hope these nine tips help you out with your trick-or-treating this year! And don’t forget to grab your free printable to share with the neighborhood.
Your turn: If you’ve tried any of these please let me know in the comments if there’s anything that I missed show that too!