Halloween Tips for Parents of Kids with Autism

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Kids Going Trick or Treating on Halloween

Halloween is just a few short weeks away.  As we prepare for the decorations and fun activities to come, now is the time to consider some ways you can help your child to have a happy and fun Halloween experience.

PRACTICE
Know the route you plan to take on Halloween and practice the walk with your child before Halloween.  Consider taking about 3 practice walks beginning 1 week before and leading up to the big day.

ROLE PLAY
Let your child play out the scenario of trick or treating by walking up to a door, ringing the doorbell.  Enlist a friendly neighbor to help you act it out, or practice at your own front door.  Give candy! If you give them an actual piece of candy they will be way more excited about what is in store.

CHOOSE CAREFULLY
There are so many fun and creative costumes to choose from but be cautious about getting anything that may irritate your child, particularly sensitive areas around the ears, eyes or throat.

HAVE A BACK UP PLAN
Stay flexible on the day.  If your child is not up for the outing, have a back-up plan that includes fun indoor activities.

Click here for more great resources from our friends at Pathfinders for Autism.

Watch our parent video with Halloween Tips

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Reducing Back to School Anxiety for Kids with Autism

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Back to School Title Written by a Colorful Pencils or Crayons

Getting ready for the new school year can be a hectic and exciting time. For children with autism (and their parents), all this change can feel overwhelming.

Here are some suggestions for how to help ease your child’s back-to-school anxieties:

Get a sneak peak
Scope out the school and classroom in advance. If your child is going into a new classroom, visit it at least once before the first day of school. If transition has been a struggle in the past, consider taking as much time as your child needs to explore the classroom. Make it as much fun as possible, playing in each of the new areas.

Check out seat assignments
For older children, ask the teacher if a seat assignment has been made. Do some enjoyable activities in that seat. If familiar classmates will be in the room, show where they will be sitting, too.

Rehearse new activities
Find out from the teacher what new activities are planned. Then, prepare your child by performing, practicing, and talking about them. This rehearsal will reduce anxiety when the new activities come up in the first week of school.

Anticipate sensory overload
The noise and chaos of a typical classroom can sometimes be a bit much to handle. Establish a plan for what to do in this situation – perhaps there is a quiet room where your child can “take a break” for a short time.

Volunteer in the classroom
Most teachers welcome assistance from parents. Your presence may be a source of comfort to your child during those challenging first weeks.

Going to school can pose many challenges for children with autism, as well as countless opportunities for building crucial social, language, and academic skills. Be positive and encouraging, and your child will be off to a great year!

For more information about education rights, visit the Know Your Rights section of our Autism Journey Map.

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