Tips for families with autistic children at Halloween
Halloween can be more trick than treat for autistic people! Luckily we have some fun ideas that might help…
Costumes can be scary from the inside too!
Many autistic people and children have sensory sensitivities around clothing, therefore Halloween costumes can be scratchy and overwhelming.
Why not try decorating your own, more comfortable t-shirts with a Halloween theme at home?
Face painting, loud noises, scary characters and scratchy costumes aren’t for everyone, and can be especially unpleasant for autistic people.
Jack O… O Touch No!
Pumpkin carving is a great activity but some autistic people and children may find the mess very “uncomfortable”.
Try using or providing gloves when working on the pumpkins. Battery lights make a great safe alternative to candles! You can also use the innards as a sensory goo bag by placing them in a zip lock bag and letting kids squash away!
Home is where the art is!
Hold a Halloween party at home with family and friends. Many children will find trick or treating to daunting and so a party will offer another opportunity to celebrate. In preparation children could bake and decorate cakes, make and distribute invitations, think of games to play such as…
- Mystery Box
Fill bowls with noodles, jelly, cooked pasta etc. and see who guesses the most
correctly. If children have sensitivity to certain textures use dry pasta, animal shapes (bats and rats!), real objects (fangs and skulls!) etc.
- Frankenstein/Ghost Bowling
Paint faces/put eyes on cans/toilet rolls, and then stack the scary (okay, more like cute) dudes to see how many you knock down in one shot. Also helps with co-ordination.
- Spider Races
All you need for this game is some straws and plastic toy spiders — whichever kid blows their spider across the finish line first wins. Blowing is calming!
Mix together baking soda, vinegar and warm water and add jellied sweet worms. Watch them dance and swirl around.
However your family chooses to celebrate, we hope everyone has a good time!