That Dope MOM guide to a stress-free Halloween: Tips For Kids With Autism (and more)

Yesterday, on Halloween, I received a ton of questions regarding my son and how he handles Halloween. While I tried to answer as many questions as I could via Instagram DM's I figured why not put together a few quick tips on how we do Halloween. Now I have to state that I am no expert, simply a mom raising a son with Autism. Like ALL KIDS in general, children with autism are all very different so what may work for us may not work for you and that's ok...you just have to figure out what works best for your little one. For this reason, I've also partnered with my insta friend Gabrielle Dunne, who is raising a little girl with Autism, for this post to give you guys another mother's point of view. 


I may or may not have bribed him with candy for this picture  😂

The thought of Halloween seems like the perfect storm for a serious meltdown for my son. It's dark, there are people dressed up in weird costumes everywhere, it's loud and busy, but honestly, he loves it! While he can be anxious and overwhelmed easily he also has the amazing ability to super focus in on whatever it is that he is interested in and candy just happens to be his jam. He loves candy and I'm not ashamed to admit we have used it on plenty of occasions to bribe him.....don't judge me lol. Now with that being said here are three tips on how we handle different aspects of Halloween.

Tip 1- Go To A Familiar Place: we go to the exact same neighborhood every year. He actually knows which homes are going to have what decorations and if they change from the year before. Since he recognizes his surroundings he is much more comfortable and relaxed.

Tip 2- Don't be too concerned with the costume: King picks out who or what he wants to be every year and while I may get one or two quick pictures of him he is probably not going to wear the entire costume. Most likely whatever mask that comes along with it will end up in his candy bag and that's fine. So what if it's hard to know who he is supposed to be without the mask, or if the costume doesn't' look complete. As long as he is comfortable and having fun that's all that matter. If your little one isn't comfortable wearing costumes that's fine as well. You can be creative and make a character out of everyday clothing, let them wear a this is my Halloween costume t-shirt, and keep it moving. When King was younger he refused to wear a costume one year so I put a t-shirt on him that looked like a sheriff vest and badge, some comfy pants, and that was his costume. He had the best night ever!

Tip 3- Come up with your own traditions: if trick or treating around the neighborhood is too much for them then that's fine they can still have Halloween fun without going door to door. There is trunk or treating, it can be like going from door to door but on a smaller scale which can be a lot less intimidating, fall festivals that give out candy so they can still get the experience. One year we hosted a Halloween party with only a few family members and did a ghost hunt where they looked for ghost filled bags of candy in our backyard (something like an Easter Egg hunt). There wasn't a lot of people, he knew everyone there, he was in the comfort of his own home...and he got his CANDY!!

Check Out Gabby's Tips below⬇️ 


Check Out Gabby's Instagram here

I’m Gabby a 28-year-old single mother of a 6-year-old little girl named Skyla with level 2 autism as well as OCD, SPD, speech and language delay,  and a slew of other health issues. That means a lot of visual schedules and social stories to not only get through day to day life but to handle Holidays, because well this time of year just isn’t the same as every other day. Lucky for me Skyla LOVES Halloween, here are three of my biggest tips on how to help your little one understand Halloween.










Tip 1- START EARLY. We start talking about Halloween as well as looking at costumes online in JUNE. That’s right 4 MONTHS in advance. This way your little can think about what they might want to be and have time to buy and try on the costume.

Tip 2- Once they have decided what they want to be for Halloween make them a social story, and read it every day! They will learn what to expect on the day of, as well as what is expected of them.

Tip 3- HAVE FUN! Just try to remember this is FUN if the day comes and they decide they DON'T want to wear the costume that’s OKAY, make up little cards to hand out house to house explaining a little about why they aren’t dressed up!


I hope that we have helped in some way. I know as parents of kids with autism we just want them to be able to participate in childhood like every other child. Just remember they can just in their own ways! If you have any tips please feel free to add them below. We are all here just trying to figure this thing called motherhood out. Let's support one another along the way. 



           

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