5 Ways to Help Your Child Have A Happier Halloween!
1. Changes in a child’s routine can be very anxiety provoking and may lead to meltdowns or tantrums that can damper a fun evening. To help decrease your child’s anxiety about the changes in their routine on Halloween Night, provide a visual schedule for the night’s events. Use images or actual pictures to visually represent how the night will progress. Below is a very basic example. Personalizing it for your child will make it more effective!
First, we will eat dinner.
Then, we will put on our costumes.
Then, we will go trick or treating to 5 houses.
After, we will go back home.
2. The idea of Halloween can be very confusing for some children… Are my friends still there underneath that costume? What do I say after I knock on my neighbor’s door? Reading social stories about Halloween can help your child understand the concept and social expectations for that night. An example of a social story can be found at http://www.positivelyautism.com/downloads/socialstory_trickortreat.pdf.
3. Halloween costumes can be a nightmare for children with clothing sensitivities. To help them cope with their discomfort, allow them to choose their costume. Practice wearing it for increased periods of time leading up to Halloween Night. For children who cannot find a costume they can tolerate consider the following options:
Wear a Halloween themed cotton shirt that is pre-washed with fabric softener.
Allow the child to wear preferred clothing and use face paint as a “costume”.
Or…. Don’t sweat it and trick or treat in regular clothes. The point of Halloween is to have fun with family and friends!
4. For children who are non-verbal try this double sided necklace so they can ask for candy and say “thank you” just like all the other kiddos!
5. Do some prep work!
Decide which houses you plan to visit ahead of time and possibly talk with your neighbors and plan “trick or treating practice”.
Have a back-up plan for inclement weather (trick-or treating from room to room inside the house).