Can you believe Halloween fall festivals are only 3 weeks away? As the parent of a child with autism or sensory sensitivity issues, it is important that you provide a safe, friendly alternative to the festivities. This means you have to be on your toes and able to “think outside the box” when it comes to planning your events.
Here are just a few suggestions to consider for making the holiday successful:
1. Instead of carving pumpkins, decorate them with magic markers, glitter and glue, acorns and fall leaves or fuzzy pom-poms and googly eyes. (found in almost any craft section).
2. Ask your friends and neighbors if they will have gluten-free or sugar-free treats available. If they aren’t planning for that, offer to provide them with a few things so that your child doesn’t feel “different” when trick-or-treating at their house.
3. Rehearse the trick-or-treating before dark on the day before by visiting the houses before the excitement begins so that the frightening decorations are more familiar and the child knows what to expect. For extravagant yards, ask the owners if your child can explore their yard during the day.
4. If going to or near noisy areas, plan ahead by decorating a pair of headphones that can be worn over the ears in a way that incorporates them into their costume. For instance, a child dressing as a mummy could cover the headphones with bandages (toilet paper or cotton balls will work for this); a princess could bejewel her headphones to match her crown; a superhero can adorn theirs with lightning bolts, shields, spiders or bats.
Whatever you do for the fall celebrations, we at Berard AIT hope it is a wonderful time with lots of great memories!