Children with pumpkins

Pumpkins are making their appearance all over, and homes and stores are sprouting spooky decorations. Halloween season is a super exciting time for most neurotypical kids, but for children with Autism, this holiday can present a unique set of challenges. So, here are some simple Halloween tips for children with Autism.

1. Prepare in Advance

Children with Autism may have a harder time adjusting to the different set of implicit rules that Halloween brings, and it’s important to prepare your child accordingly.

  • Talk about the Do’s (knock on door, say thank you after receiving candy) and the Don’ts (help yourself to candy on your own).
  • Try role playing trick or treating to make sure that your child feels comfortable with what is expected of him/ her.
  • Create a visual story of the trick or treat routine. Go through it with your child and explain what to expect throughout.

2. Tackle the Costume Dilemma

Let’s face it. Most costumes are itchy, uncomfortable, and just plain annoying to wear. For a child with sensory processing issues, this can pose an extra issue.

  • Try out theses sensory friendly Halloween costumes.
  • Have your child try out the costume a week before Halloween for a few hours to see if adjustments are necessary.
  • Bonus brownie points- have your child turn his/ her obsession into a Halloween costumes. Check out this link for cool inspiration!
  • And remember- if your child doesn’t want to wear his/ her costume, that’s okay too! Talk about what they don’t want to wear, see if they’d like costume adjustment, but ultimately, it has to work for you and your child, not anyone else.

3. Safety First

Halloween can be a scary time for parents of children who tend to wander off. Some quick tips:

  • Dress in light up when going out at night. Have your child wear light up sneakers, glow stick bracelets/ necklaces, or a reflector.
  • Take a picture of your child just before leaving the house, so that you have an updated picture in what your child is currently wearing
  • Consider skipping trick or treating if that doesn’t work for your child and staying home instead to greet neighborhood children together.

Keeping these Halloween tips for children with Autism in mind will hopefully ease some of the stressors of the day. But- most important of all- remember that there is no “right” way to celebrate the holiday! Keep doing what works for you, and have a Happy Halloween!


About us: Golden Care Therapy is an ABA agency servicing  New Jersey and Pennsylvania children with Autism. We bring you the individual care of a small agency, together with the results borne of thousands of hours of successful in home ABA sessions. To learn how we can help your child, contact us today and speak with our clinical director!

Estee Rothstein BCBA, Executive Director at Golden Care Therapy

Estee Rothstein BCBA, Executive Director at Golden Care Therapy

Estee Rothstein is the Executive Director of Golden Care Therapy. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a master’s degree in Education. A proud mom of six, Estee brings her unique parenting perspective to her long career working with children with autism that spans more than 20 years. Outside of running her business, Estee also provides advice and consultancy to other professionals working in the field, and is a frequent speaker and writer on a range of autism topics.