Happy Halloween!

Lindsay Vick, M.S., BCBA, Supervisor of Behavioral Education

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing? You better be with Halloween right around the corner!
Not only are you going to have to think up an AMAZING costume for your child, you may need to start brainstorming about other aspects of Halloween.

  • This is a great time to take advantage of natural learning opportunities. What does that mean?! Now is the time to help teach your child, in their everyday environment, to discriminate between reality and fantasy. One way to teach this is to differentiate between costumes and characters that are not real, and those that are.
  • For kids with dietary restrictions you may want to have alternate options for candy. You could have your child “trade in” candy to which he/she is allergic. They could trade it for sweets they are allowed to have, for a penny or nickel per piece (or by weight), or some other trade-off.
  • Halloween is a great time to expose your child to a public setting and to allow them the opportunity to interact with the community. Taking steps prior to the event can ensure a good time for all involved. You can write a social story tailored to the unique events involved with Halloween. A social story can help prepare your trick-or-treater for what to expect, including large groups of people, scary costumes, and decorations. The story can also give information about where you will be going, how you will get there, and what to expect once there. By also including your expectations for the child’s behavior – as well as informing them of potential sensory issues- you can help your child succeed and enjoy this night.
  • Preparing your child for Halloween can also be done by role playing and skill rehearsal. Talk about the steps of trick-or-treating with your child, including going to the door, the conversation piece of requesting candy, and appropriate manners after their interaction. Once you discuss these steps, have your child practice them. If you have a kind neighbor, ask if they will assist you in this preparation. Otherwise, practice at home with the family.

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