Trick or Treating Tips for Sensory Sensitive Children

Sensory Therapy ChicagoMobile Therapy Centers wishes everyone a Happy October! We know that the season of pumpkins, spooky decorations, costumes, and candy is upon us, and this can be an overwhelming time for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who have sensory sensitivity.

This Fall, on October 25th, Mobile Therapy Centers will be hosting a Trunk or Treat event designed specifically for children with ASD in our office parking lot. Our ABA therapists, who specialize in working with this population, have created an event that will be less stimulating than traditional trick or treating, but fun for all! Therapists from the center will decorate the trunks of their cars and pass out treats. The event will have activities, games, and even a social story that parents and caregivers can use with their children before the day arrives.

For families who choose to also participate in traditional trick or treating, here are some tips that our ABA therapists recommend to prepare your child for what is to come as they trick or treat:

1. Make a Social Story : A social story is a great way to prepare your child for what to expect the night of trick or treating. You can prepare your child for the decorations, costumes, and noises, and remind them that it is just pretend. You can also prepare your child with the steps of trick or treating.

2. Watch Videos: Videos can provide an accurate picture of what an event will look like. Show your child videos of decorated houses and children walking around in costumes and masks.

3. Role-Play: Get your whole family involved and have your child practice trick or treating. Have one family member walk up to your home’s front door with the child and have the child knock or ring the doorbell. Then have one family member inside to answer the door. Have your child practice saying, “Trick or Treat!” and taking only one piece of candy. Then prompt your child to say “Thank you!”

4. Try on Costume Ahead of Time: Have your child try on their costume ahead of time so that you can ensure it is a costume they are comfortable wearing.

5. Prepare PECS or AAC: If your child uses PECS or AAC, create a picture or button that says “Trick or Treat!”

Mobile Therapy Centers hopes that these tips are helpful in preparing your child for the season! If you have any questions, please email us at asktheteam@mtcus.com or ask one of our therapists at our Trunk or Treat event on October 25th at 6:00pm!

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