Happy Halloween! Do you want to know ways to make Halloween more friendly for autistic and neurodiverse people? Here are some tips:
Recognize there are many different ways to communicate. I mentioned in my last blog story that alternative forms of communication can look like sign language, communication core boards, speech output devices, etc. This helps neurodiverse people feel safe and seen when expressing themselves.
Remember that sensory differences matter. If an autistic child isn’t wearing a costume, that shouldn’t preclude them from participating, Also, consider leaving a basket of treats/candies somewhere away from the decorations or crowds for sensory-sensitive kids to help themselves within the community. In addition, designate a certain window of time during which your event will be sensory-friendly within the community. Decorations will have their lights and sounds turned down or off, costumes won’t light up or make noise, treats will be easily accessible, and it will be less crowded.
Ensure school Halloween celebrations includes everyone. Be a team, and collaborate on ideas for sensory-friendly Halloween parties or costume parades, crafting stations for neurodiverse kids who prefer a creative activity to trick-or-treating, non-edible treats, inclusive costume policies that allow neurodiverse children to wear costumes that accommodate their sensory sensitivities or communication needs or participate without wearing a costume at all, and designated safe spaces or sensory break areas where neurodiverse kids can go if they become overwhelmed.
Do you have any more Halloween tips that I did not mention? Share your thoughts in the comments section!