Halloween Tips for Children with Autism

Written By: Denys Collins

Halloween can be a fun day full of excitement, candy, and spooky decorations. For some, such as those that experience autism, it can be overwhelming and full of chaos, diet restricted treats, and scary costumes and decor. With a few accommodations and planning, Halloween can be an enjoyable time for all.

First, prepare ahead of time.

  • Try Costumes before Halloween to make sure your child is comfortable.
  • Create a visual story or schedule.
  • Practice trick or treating.
  • Walk through the neighborhood ahead of time.

Next, for the night of Halloween remember to be flexible.

  • Know  your child’s limits. Keep it short if necessary.
  • Throw your own sensory friendly party instead.
  • Have them help hand out candy.
  • Have an area of the house free of decorations and festivities, so they can escape and calm down.
  • Have diet approved snacks or toys at home to replace candy.
  • Have child wear a glow bracelet or have a glow stick  in case they elope.
  • Go before it’s too dark and crowded.

Last, don’t forget to have fun. Holidays should be enjoyable.  Don’t force your child to participate if they are not interested.  Plan alternative activities instead and make your own traditions. Make Halloween pleasurable for everyone.  Happy Halloween!

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Sensory Friendly Fall

Written by: Denys Collins

On Saturday, October 6th, the Autism Society of Alaska partnered with Arctic Harvest and held their first Fall event. Individuals that experience autism and their families were given an opportunity to enjoy common autumn activities in a sensory friendly and welcoming environment at Arctic Harvest.DSC00060

On an unusually warm day for October in Alaska, families gathered together at Davies farm. While there, guests were greeted by goats. Then, they were able to go on hay rides, have their faces painted by the amazing Ms. Sally, and pick pumpkins. Some children chose to run through the field while others watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Afterwards, they were able to enjoy treats or food around the fire.

Because the event was before open hours at Arctic Harvest, everyone had a chance to enjoy themselves without the usual chaos, excitement, and crowds that often accompany such festivities. Many individuals that experience autism process sensory information such as sounds or smells in a different manner than those that are neurotypical. Just as autism is a spectrum so are sensory needs. With the help of community partnerships, accommodations can be implemented to make events and activities accessible to individuals that experience autism or have sensory processing disorder.

The Autism Society of Alaska would like to thank their board members, volunteers, Arctic Harvest, and all the families that attended for helping make their first fall event a success.

If you would like information on how to make your business, event, or activity more sensory friendly, please reach out the Autism Society of Alaska at autism907@gmail.com. To stay up to date on all of our events, follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.