Tips for Trick or Treating

Halloween is an exciting holiday for kids. It can also be scary, eventful, and full of surprises– all things that parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder might find worrisome. That is why we decided to compile some tips for enjoying time with your loved one with ASD this Halloween!


Plan Your Route

In the week or days leading up to trick or treating, plan the streets and even the homes you plan to visit! Finding a quiet, unfrequented street beforehand can greatly reduce the risk of meltdowns. You can make a map and take it with you on the day of the main event. A parent or family member can be put in charge of carrying the candy bag to eliminate the task for your child as well.

Do a Dress Rehearsal

The days leading up to trick or treating, have your child practice putting on and wearing the costume a few times. Also, touring the route by visiting it prior to the main event can prevent the surprise of unfamiliarity. Practice knocking on a door for a trick or treat run through too! This can eliminate first-time jitters and discomfort coinciding with sensory overload on Halloween. Practicing a run through is an important idea if your child has difficulty with crowds or a new environment.

Make “Trick or Treat” Cards or Bags

If your loved one does not communicate verbally, a great idea would be to make a notecard or bag! It can state that they have ASD, explaining they don’t communicate well. It can have “Trick or Treat!” on one side, and “Thank You!” on the other. Here is an example of a candy bag:

trick or treat

Noise Canceling Headphones

If sensory overload is a concern for Halloween, a great idea would be to have your loved one with ASD wear noise-canceling headphones. It can be a part of his/her costume whether it matches or not because, on Halloween, anything goes! These can eliminate the loud, unexpected noises of other kids on the same street as you.

Invite Others

Going with friends might increase the level of fun for your child. The excitement of other kids can feel contagious and can help make your child’s experience a fun one. Although you know your child and whether or not this will be best!

Good Ghouls Go Home

Don’t hesitate to go home! If you notice any signs of trick or treating becoming too much, call it a night. If going home early becomes necessary, or you can’t quite make it out the door to begin with, that is okay! You can hype up passing out candy and create an enjoyable experience from the comfort of your home.


Overall, we wish you a positive Halloween experience with your loved one with ASD. We hope these tips are useful in making this holiday the best possible. And don’t forget, if you are in the northern Virginia area feel free to join the Helping Hands Halloween Fall festival!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. {Izaak Walton}


Welcome to the Spectrum Autism Services blog! Our intention with creating this resource is to generate an uplifting community for those who love a person with Autism and for those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although our services are currently located in the state of Virginia, our vision has always been to inform and reach as many people as possible with tidbits of information, ideas, and discussions to make life feel a little less lonely on those difficult days. So we welcome you and hope you find this digital home of ours restorative.