While many of us enjoy the Halloween traditions of ghoulish décor and monster masks, they may overwhelm some children. Here are some simple ideas for a sensory-friendly Halloween.
Eyewitness News spoke with author and local substitute teacher Matthew Kenslow, who explained that some children could be overstimulated when too much of one sense is present.
"For instance, bright lights or strobe lights when they flash, sometimes sound, it could be very noisy," Kenslow said.
"Certain fabrics and textures or costumes might make them feel uncomfortable in crowded spaces, and these events might cause them to be claustrophobic," he added.
Kenslow has written about his personal experience with autism. He suggests a quiet, low-key evening with the family and close friends.
Some frightfully fun ideas could include pumpkin decorating and other Halloween art projects. Or you can just spend a cozy night in watching their favorite fall films.
If your child does want to go trick-or-treating, there are few ways you can help them prepare.
If they want to wear a costume, have them test it out a few times before Halloween. It also gives you the chance to adjust the fit or remove any uncomfortable accessories.
Kenslow also recommends a test run around the neighborhood, keeping an eye out for anything that might be overwhelming.
"In louder neighborhoods, noise canceling headphones would probably work well. And if there's a street where there might be like loud, brighter, scary decorations, then perhaps avoid the streets if you think it might upset the child," Kenslow said.
For those opening their doors to trick- or-treaters this Halloween, keep an eye out for blue candy buckets. The person carrying the bucket may have autism, and be non-verbal. They also might be older, or not wearing a costume.
If you see someone with a blue bucket, remember to be patient and help them out some candy, even if they don't say trick-or-treat.
You also might see teal or purple Halloween pumpkins. A reminder that the teal buckets are for food allergies. Ask kids with teal buckets if they have any allergies before handing out candy.
You can also put a teal-painted pumpkin on your doorstep to show you have allergy-friendly snacks.
Also, purple pumpkins are to raise awareness about epilepsy.
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