Tools to make Halloween easier for all

Many children love Halloween- what’s not to love about dressing up in a costume, and getting treats just by saying “Trick or Treat”?  But for some children, it can uncomfortable- a big change in routine, different clothes against their skin, and just not being sure of what to say, or being unable to say it. How can we be sure to include all children in this tradition?  This blog will provide information on different tools so that all children can enjoy the Halloween tradition.

black t-shirt that says "Trick or Treat" then under a pumpkin, it says" I maybe non verbal but I still like candy!"

Because it is such a significant change in routine, many children will benefit from social stories about what Halloween is, and what is expected of them as they go out in costume and go trick or treating.  This website has various social stories you can download for free, and adapt to your child.  Start preparing them early by reading these to them up to a week before, so that when the day comes, they know what to expect, how it might feel, and what may happen. These can relieve so many anxieties for so many children!
Additionally, many children may not be able to verbally say, “trick or treat”, and as a parent, you may not want to have to worry about carrying your child’s AAC device with you as you go around your neighborhood.  Not to worry! If you make a free account on TeachersPayTeachers, there are some free visual communication tools you can download- communication bracelets, and a visual routine about trick or treating, to help make the experience easier for them. All you would need to do is download, print, and cut out the bracelets, and your child will be able to say “trick or treat” independently, and enjoy the experience!
Finally, some children may benefit if they had an easy way to let folks know that they have autism or food allergies.  This is where colored pumpkins come into play. For example,  if they are carrying a blue pumpkin, it means that they are neurodivergent, and may be struggling with the change of routine. A little understanding can go a long way to helping them have a great experience.  Information on all the different colored pumpkins and what they represent can be found at this website-  

This Halloween, let’s help all the children have a great time enjoying this tradition.  Remember to purchase some non-edible stickers/toys for those with food allergies, and enjoy the evening safely!