Happy Halloween!

~*~ Halloween for Children on the Autism Spectrum ~*~

Tip 1 - Expose them to it early and often

Halloween is scary enough even for children without development delays, physical limitations, neurological disorders or other issues that cause them to be in part of the more than 6 million children who are labeled “special needs.” Getting an early start in explaining Halloween to special needs children can go a long way in ensuring a successful goblin night. As is often the case with special needs kids, repetition is key to helping the child better understand the event or holiday.

Tip 2 - Pick the right costume

Of course, picking a non-scary costume is key for getting your special needs child ready for Halloween. Try out the costumes and make sure they are a good fit. Have your child practice walking and sitting while wearing the costume. Take into consideration the weather at the end of October and what their favorite characters are. Avoiding popular costumes like vampires, witches, and warlocks is probably a good thing for most special needs children.  If your child is not wearing a costume make sure they know there is nothing wrong with them, some children would rather wear regular clothing and just wear a costume when they go out trick or treating. If your child is afraid of going around to houses that might appear scary at night seeing others dressed up in dark outfits and costumes, keep them home and hand out candy from the front yard or at the doorway. 

The child can wear the costume to go to neighboring houses and relatives where the environment is safe and familiar. Many children with autism have sensory issues so if they do not want to wear a costume at all, that's okay too!!!

Tip 3 - Avoid Scary Games and Activities

Halloween games are almost as popular as the act of trick or treating, often serving as the tailgate before the game. But games like bobbing for apples or swinging the apple on the stick can be difficult for special needs children to grasp and can prove to be dangerous as well.

For games in the classroom, make sure to talk to your child’s teacher to see if you agree it’s appropriate practice the game at home. Also, don’t pressure your child to participate in games at home or at parties you attend. Pumpkin carving and face painting can be fine for some children and daunting for others. As with most things with special needs children, it’s best to test these out on your child at home first, before trying at school or at a party.

Tip 4 - Try a New Tradition Like a Private Party

Did you know the act of knocking on doors and tricking or treating is actually on the decline? Many people are trying new traditions such as private parties where parents can control the environment and the type of candy and food their child receives.

Tip 5 – Do a Trial Run for Trick or Treating

If you want your child to experience trick or treating first-hand, remember, practice really does make perfect. Repetition of the route you will take for trick or treating will make it easier for child to grasp the act of trick or treating.

Keep in mind, it’s also not the quantity of house visited that is important, but instead the quality of the interactions for your child. Picking a few homes where you know the families can go a long way in making the actual act of tricking or treating enjoyable for your special needs child. Also, start trick of treating early and “before it gets dark,” .

This Information  has been provided by



~*How To Make a Halloween Costume for a Child with
Sensory Integration Dysfunction*~

Children with sensory integration problems are notoriously picky about clothing. They may need soft fabrics, tag-free shirts, non-binding waste bands, nothing scratchy or tickly. So standard, store-bought Halloween costumes, with their flimsy fabrics and mismatched parts and unfinished hems and inexact fit are pretty much of a no-go. Here's a quick way to make your child a costume out of a pair of nice, comfy sweats. Make them as simple or spectacular as your craft abilities allow.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Depends on how crafty you are

Here's How:

1.   Start with a hooded sweatshirt: brown for a dog, black for a cat, red for a devil. Your child can pair this with matching sweatpants, or any other leg wear he or she feels comfortable in.

2.   Decorate the sweatshirt using felt or construction paper. Cut out contrasting spots for the dog, a white tummy for the cat, maybe some orange flames or a pitchfork for the devil. Attach these to the costume depending on whether you want to use the sweatshirt again: with staples, tape, safety pins, fabric glue, stitches. You can even use fabric paint if you want the costume to live forever.

3.   Decorate the hood with felt or construction paper. Make little ears for the cat, floppy ears for the dog, horns for the devil. Attach them as indicated in Step 2.

4.   Attach a tail to the seat of the pants. Cut out a black tail from felt or construction paper for the cat, a brown one for the dog, a red one for the devil. Attach it as indicated in Step 2.

5.   Put the costume on your child. If he or she will tolerate it, add a felt or construction paper collar to the dog or cat. Let your devil hold a pitchfork. Face makeup is also a possibility if your child doesn't mind it.

6.   Now take a picture! If the costume reverts back to its normal sweatshirt state after Halloween night, you'll want to have a record it existed.


  1. The material you use for the add-ons and the way you fasten them can be determined by how active your child will be in the outfit. If it's just for a quick round of trick or treating, you can probably get away with paper and staples. If it's for a party or a day at school, felt and glue might be a better bet.
  2. If your child finds a weighted vest helpful, he or she can wear it under the sweatshirt, or load up the pockets of the sweatshirt with curtain weights and sew them shut.
  3. If your child prefers tight clothing, have him or her wear a tight shirt under the sweatshirt. Any favorite piece of comfort clothing can likely ride under there; determine sweatshirt size accordingly.

What You Need:

  • Hooded sweatshirt
  • Matching sweatpants (optional)
  • Felt or construction paper
  • Fabric paint (optional)
  • Staples, tape, safety pins, glue, and/or needle and thread

This information has been provided by



Click on these cute "Trick or Treat" Cards






This page is owned and maintained by Bernie
Copyright 2000-2011  [Ariel's Homepage]
All Rights Reserved, Revised October 2013

Midi: The Night Before Christmas