The Durand Academy in Woodbury, New Jersey joins PHL17 with tips on how to make Halloween autism friendly.

  • Look for teal and blue pumpkins: Teal pumpkins usually indicate that the house you are visiting offers non-food treats for trick or treaters with food allergies or intolerances, while blue pumpkins indicate the house is autism-friendly.
  • Limit sensory triggers: Unfamiliar sensations can be difficult for children on the spectrum to experience. Limit your child’s sensory triggers by avoiding houses decorated with fog machines, strobe lights, loud sound effects, and startling animatronics.
  • Select a sensory-friendly costume: Itchy tags, tight collars, and constricting masks can create an uncomfortable Halloween experience for children with sensory needs. Avoid a meltdown by selecting a sensory-friendly, adaptive Halloween costume for your child to wear. Have them try on the costume a few times before wearing it out to make sure it fits comfortably.
  • Avoid face paint and masks: Masks and face paint can not only irritate a child’s skin, but also narrow their line of vision and interfere with their balance. Skip the face decorating and opt for a non-constricting hat instead to make a costume (and the experience wearing it) even better!