Halloween Tips for Parents of Children with Autism
Halloween will be here before you know it and for parents of children with autism, the holiday brings a ton of different challenges. Keeping your child calm and happy during an often-intense holiday doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are a few simple tips to help you and your little one enjoy the upcoming Halloween festivities with a minimum of stress.
Stick to Your Routine
For many children with autism, routines bring a sense of stability, normalcy, and comfort. When holidays roll around, it’s easy to forget the routine. Try not to. Do what you can to keep their day as normal as possible. Incorporate the special events like trick or treating and parties into that regular routine as needed. This way, they’ll be able to participate in the fun without missing out on the activities they rely on daily and you’ll help prevent meltdowns from happening.
Is your child planning on wearing a costume or going trick or treating? Let them practice ahead of time. Encourage them to wear their costume a few days before Halloween so they can get used to the way it feels. Walk the trick or treating route ahead of time so it feels familiar to them once they’re out in costume.
Let Go of Your Expectations
You remember what Halloween was like for you as a child. But that doesn’t mean your child will enjoy the holiday in the same way. Try to approach the holiday on your child’s level. If this means not going trick or treating, that’s fine. If it means wearing normal clothes because costumes make them uncomfortable, that’s okay too.
Check In Throughout the Night
Your child will be surrounded by tons of different stimuli throughout the night, even if they’re staying at home with you. Check in with them and make sure they’re still having a good time. If they’re not, think about what you can do to help them decompress and get back to having fun.
Children with autism are often sensitive to the way their parents and caregivers are responding to different situations. If you’re calm and having fun, they’re more likely to as well. If you start to feel stressed, take a moment to relax and calm down. When you’re calm, they’ll be better able to stay calm and have fun.
Get Advice from a Professional
Halloween should be fun for children with autism. If you’re worried about the holiday or simply want a little extra help finding new ways to help your child cope with changes, contact us to make an appointment.