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Trick or Treating Tips for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Halloween is a fun night of costumes and candy for kids of all ages. But for those on the autism spectrum, scary sounds and decorations, tight or scratchy costumes and going out at night may be challenging. Helping your child know what to expect from Halloween can help make it a fun time for everyone.

Little girl holding pumpkin basketCostumes

  • Keep it comfortable and easy. Avoid scratchy costumes.
  • Avoid face painting and masks, especially if your child has texture sensitivities.
  • Have your child try on the costume in advance and practice wearing it at home.
  • Keep an extra change of clothes on hand in case your child becomes uncomfortable and wants to remove the costume.


  • Explain what happens during trick-or-treating so your child knows what to expect. Describe who they’ll see and what they’ll do and say.
  • Role-play for up to a few weeks beforehand. Practice at home by having your child knock on the door to say “trick or treat.
  • Staying close to home means you can get home quickly to take a break if you need to.
  • If your child doesn’t want to go out at night, go earlier in the evening before it gets dark. If you do go at night, take a flashlight.
  • If your child has trouble communicating, have hand out cards for the people who answer the doors at the houses visited.
  • Bring along useful supplies such as a flashlight for safety, earplugs or earphones to block out loud noises, and a favorite item for comfort.