Trick or Treating Tips for Children with Autism

Trick or Treating Tips for Children with Autism

Halloween can be a stressful night for some kids, especially those that have trouble communicating. Nonverbal children can use these tips to have a successful Halloween.

Blue Candy Bucket. Last year there was a spike in awareness of the blue bucket that signifies a child has autism and may not speak. These buckets can help alleviate the pressure for someone pressing to get a “trick or treat” response. 

Communication Devices. If your child has a speaking device there are also buttons you can program with the phrase “trick to treat.”

For the app “Touch Chat”: In Touch Chat click ABC 123 > Find Word > Type “trick or treat” 

** If not found you can program the button to any empty spot. For example, I programmed a button under Groups > Holidays > More Holiday > click menu > edit page > click an empty box > edit this button > and type in “trick or treat”**

For the app “LAMP”: In LAMP click make > holidays > trick or treat

**if trick or treat is not already programmed click menu > edit page > click a blank button > create a new button > add “trick or treat

Sign Language. If your child does not have a speaking device, you can also teach them ASL signs for “trick or treat” or “candy please.” You can sign trick or treat by making a fist with on hand and stroking it on the pointer finger of your opposite hand, then take your pointer finger and twist it on your cheek. A circular motion at the top of the chest says “please”.

Practice at home. Another thing parents can do to help their child before the holiday is to practice at home before you go. This can make it less scary for children and allow you to see which techniques might be most effective.

All these tips can be helpful during the Halloween holiday to help alleviate some stress during trick or treating. Using a blue bucket can help people recognize there may be a lack of speech, while using the device or signing can also help with communication. Practicing at home can help build comfort and confidence in your child before they go out for the real deal. If you have any questions, please contact us at TEAM 4 Kids!

Stephanie Brainard, RBT