Halloween is kinda weird.
Nothing is really as it seems. People dress up in costumes, visit the homes of strangers, and even take candy from them! For kids on the spectrum who rely so much on structure and predictability, it’s all very confusing.
For one, many kids with Autism don’t understand make-believe. That means that the concept of dressing up and pretending to be something else could be lost on them, or worse, bring on feelings of anxiety. Halloween is already an anxiety inducing holiday since many children have a fear of new and unknown places, even neighbors’ homes.
Some parents choose to keep their children home with them and let them help pass out candy to trick-or-treaters. Of course, kids will still need to understand why the doorbell keeps ringing and why people are dressed up and shouting, “trick or treat!” Many parents find it helpful to explain to their children what to expect when they go out, as well as explaining to neighbors what they should expect from your child.
Some people print out cards to give to neighbors before Halloween. We’ve seen a few of these things floating around the internet: