Halloween will soon be here. For many people, it is an exciting time of the year, where people get dressed up in scary costumes, enjoy sweets, chocolate, and all sorts of spooky activities. However, Halloween may not always be fun for adults with Autism.
Here a few of the main reasons that makes Halloween hard for people with Autism.
– Bright lights.
– Loud Speaking.
– Music.
– Change in routine.
– Costumes.
– Can seem scary to some, i.e. spiders, scary masks etc.
We have written some tips to help create a happy autism-friendly Halloween.  
  • Choose a sensory friendly Halloween outfit – a cosy onesie is a great idea for a Halloween costume. Onesies can be soft material and very comfortable whilst still helping you to get into character or keep it simple, by purchasing a Halloween T-shirt or even a small prop to hold rather than a full costume.
  • In the run up to Halloween take time to look at photos of possible outfits, Halloween activities or events etc to help familiarise with things that might be seen around this time of year.
  • Organise sensory friendly activities at home such as baking Halloween cakes and biscuits or arts and crafts activities in a quieter setting.
  • Trick or treat in small groups of people or before it gets too dark or too busy. If the person with Autism doesn’t want to do this, think of an alternative and plan fun activities at home – perhaps a trick or treat treasure hunt around the home or dig around for sweets in a jelly bowl.
  • Prepare for Halloween in advance with a visual countdown calendar – using visuals will help prepare for Halloween in advance. It will help you explain Halloween and the activities you will be doing that day in a clear, visual way. At Aspire we use many forms of visual aids PECS cards- PECS is a picture exchange format we use (visual aids), this is for the person with Autism to communicate with staff and for staff to communicate with them. (PECs use symbols to create generalisation.)
  • Look for autism friendly activities in your local area – Manchester City Council has a great outdoor Halloween Trail running across the city with lots of fun sculptures and things to look for, or why not try pumpkin picking somewhere local at a quieter time.
We hope our tips can help you or someone living with Autism celebrate Halloween, in the best and most relaxed way.
For more information or guidance about planning an autism friendly Halloween please contact Sharon, our Autism Lead or Lesley, our Engagement and Total Communication Officer on 0161 607 7100.

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