TACA Halloween: Preparing to Have Fun

Welcome to the TACA Halloween Series. At TACA we want to take the fear out of facing Halloween for families with autism. This will be a four-part series leading us all the way to the week of Halloween, with fun tips, treats, and encouraging stories to help your family have the best Halloween, yet! 

For those living with a special needs child, this holiday can be a nightmare worse than any authentic ghoul or goblin. The unpredictability of Halloween along with its sights, sounds, and smells can be 100 times scarier for a child on the autism spectrum or with other special needs. Here are some tips to help your child with autism have a fun and memorable Halloween night.

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Some Ways to Prepare: 
1— Explain what the holiday means by watching fun movies that are safe and help your child get ready for the upcoming night!
These movies have specific scenes with trick or treating, offering less scary and much more family-friendly themes:
  • Casper  (1995)
  • Halloweentown (1998)
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) 
    • This is a particular favorite in the TACA family as many families have successfully used this Charlie Brown classic to explain Halloween to their kids. You may even have a similar experience to the Kern family and have the joy of hearing “I got a rock” from house to house! the-great-pumpkin
2—Practice makes perfect!

Start with visiting one house before the holiday. Reinforce the victory by celebrating with a special treat or small toy. You can also practice trick or treating in your garage. Have your child hand out candy to kids who are pretending to come to “trick or treat”.

3—Get in the spirit with the right costume!

Choose a favorite cartoon or game character:

  • Go for the more simple costumes! Avoid masks, capes, and props (such as swords, shields, etc.)
  • Try it on for size – don’t leave the costume store before you try it on. Make sure it can accommodate a sweater or jacket in case the weather is an issue by the time Halloween day arrives.
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Here is a sweet story from one of our coordinators in Georgia talking about the process of 
process of finding the PERFECT costume! 
When Jordyn was younger finding a Halloween costume that was cute but also one that she would wear was nearly impossible. For us, a “uniform type” costumes worked the best, “uniforms” that she recognized from life. They didn’t include a mask, they were comfortable and cute. She’s been an adorable cheerleader, singer, farmer, and witch…all with great success! – 
– Jackie Moore, TACA Georgia

Don’t let this be the scariest holiday of all! We hope that as you prepare for the holidays you are able to take some of these suggestions to heart and experience a FUN, Special holiday season with your family!

Have a wonderful day friend,

Team TACA

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