How To Have A Sensory-Friendly Halloween: Prepare For Meeting New People
Children with sensory differences may establish certain rituals and routines to carefully control the sensory input she receives from the environment. Sensory-avoiding children are often resistant to change, including new people, because change represents an opportunity to be bombarded with unfamiliar and perceive harmful stimulation. Meeting new people can be especially challenging for children with sensory differences, as they tend to prefer consistency and sameness.
Tip #1: Use Cards to Increase Understanding of Sensory Processing Disorder During Trick-or-Treating
Have your child hand out cards like the ones you see here (+ pic of card) or download the free printable version (http://www.positivelyautism.com/downloads/TrickOrTreatCards.pdf ) to hand out during trick-or-treating. These cards can help raise awareness of sensory processing disorder and help others understand why your child might act differently than other trick-or-treaters. These cards will help people understand that your child is doing the best she can to participate and enjoy this fun activity!
Tip #2: Practice Trick-or-Treating at Your Own House or at Those of Friends and Family
Practicing can help your child know what to expect during trick-or-treating. Simply ask your family and friends if you could come practice at their house so that your child can become more comfortable with the process of trick-or-treating.
Tip #3: Pair up With a Familiar Buddy for Trick-or-Treating
Ask a friend or family member to have her child trick-or-treat with your child. Make sure your child is familiar with the child that you have chosen to go trick-or-treating with your family. Having a friendly face to trick-or-treat with your child can help comfort her and relieve some of the pressure she might feel to engage with strangers.
Thank you for reading How To Have A Sensory-Friendly Halloween: Prepare For Meeting New People.
Written by: Carleigh Brawley, MS, OTR/L
Lead Occupational Therapist