Helping children with autism navigate Halloween


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Halloween can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming for some kids.

According to Autism Speaks, for some kids on the autism spectrum, the decorations, itchy costumes, and spooky sounds can be a lot to handle. And for kids who are non-verbal, saying “trick or treat” poses a problem.

Some parents have decided to start using blue pumpkin buckets to signify that a trick or treater has autism, so parents passing out candy can be aware. While Autism Speaks doesn’t list using these blue pumpkins in their Halloween suggestion guide, they did ask parents on Facebook how they felt about them, to mixed reviews. However, they do have downloadable door signs you can hang to show your house is autism friendly on the 31st.

Springfield mom Heather Obriskie, whose son has down syndrome, said while Halloween can be challenging, he won’t be carrying a different bucket. She shared advice for people passing out candy, saying, “He’s been having fun. he likes dressing up. Take your time. If you see someone is having trouble, just give them a little extra time. People are usually really good. The parents will tell kids, ‘oh give him a second it will be your turn.'”

Autism Speaks recommends talking with your kids about what trick or treating will be like, and walking them through the sites and sounds they can expect that night.

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