As Halloween approaches, your kids are most likely getting excited about the idea of going door-to-door, showing off their costumes and eating lots of goodies. It’s not as easy as it sounds when you have a child who lives with sensory processing difficulties, is on the autism spectrum, struggles with anxiety or faces any other complex challenge. Here are some helpful tips for the parents who want to make sure all of their kids have a good Halloween experience: 

1. The earlier the better. 

You don’t necessarily have to wait until 7 p.m. to take your kids trick-or-treating. If possible, start right when your town or neighborhood’s trick-or-treating hours begin. Not only will it still be daylight, but the atmosphere will be less frantic and overwhelming for your child. 

2. Watch for triggers. 

You know your child best, so you’re aware of what triggers them. If your child deals with anxiety, they may feel overwhelmed when a bunch of trick-or-treaters are knocking at your door all night. Instead of handing out candy, you could set a bowl of candy by your front door for self-serve purposes. Maybe your autistic child doesn’t like wearing tight/itchy fabrics or paint on their face, so keep this in mind when choosing their costume. 

3. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. 

The last thing you want is a cranky kid on Halloween night. Make sure they get plenty of good sleep the night before or even add a nap during the day so they’re well-rested. 

4. Prepare them so they know what to expect. 

Sometimes all a child needs is to be aware of what’s planned for the night so there aren’t any surprises. This is especially important if it’s your kiddo’s first time trick-or-treating since everything will be new to them. First, ask them if trick-or-treating is something they want to participate in because the activities aren’t appealing for all kids, especially if they have things like social anxiety. If they decide they want to, explain the game plan and prepare them for the night to come. 

5. Consider alternatives if necessary. 

As previously mentioned, trick-or-treating isn’t appealing to all kids. There are still lots of other Halloween festivities they can participate in within the comfort of their home with family. You can spend Halloween night carving pumpkins, baking and decorating Halloween-themed cookies, watching a spooky movie they’d enjoy and even dressing up in costumes as a family.  

As a parent of a child with complex challenges, trying to make holidays and activities as enjoyable for them as possible can be overwhelming and stressful at times. We hope this advice helps! Life Tech wishes you a fun-filled and enjoyable Halloween evening with your family.