Along with any old tradition, autism doesn’t panda to Halloween, far too magical to play by the rules you see.
For us, fancy dress was preferred on a random Tuesday and the expectation or pressure to wear a certain outfit on a certain day would end in tears because perhaps the other day that fuzzy fabric and label didn’t bother them, but today that highly flammable fabric smells funny and is making their skin crawl with little invisible sensory bugs.
It’s taken three years for the boys to confidently say hello to our next-door neighbour, so approaching a stranger’s door, knocking, grabbing sweets, and casual spooky chit-chat would throw their communication right out of sync. Especially with Dexter who pretends he’s lost his voice and Hugh who information dumps on whatever he’s recently hyper-focused on.
We found that pumpkin picking was fun and those with SEN sessions the best.
Pumpkin picking in our own garden was even more fun. Replayed over and over again, less panic for me when they started chucking them at each other.
Painting pumpkins was preferred over carving.
A Halloween disco creates a sensory overload and is avoided at all costs.
Tricks were a definite no-go, so we focused on the treats.
Halloween for us, is autumnal feasting, cozy costumes at home when the mood takes, getting crafty and simplifying the social aspect like we do in most areas of life.