Are you planning on going out trick or treating or staying in to pass out candy with festive activities? No matter how you are celebrating, we want to make sure your AT is ready to celebrate with you!
Program your AAC Devices
Program your AAC device to add special Halloween greetings and responses.
Many communication devices already come programmed with a Halloween page. Search around on your device and see if you can find one. If not, no problem! You can make one. If your device has an “activities” page, add a Halloween button to that page. Programming is different for each device, so refer to your owner’s manual or website on how to do this. Customize the page for what you are doing to celebrate but here are some ideas to get started:
- Happy Halloween!
- Trick or Treat
- Thank You
- I’m a ____! (Fill in with costume)
If you use an iPad or tablet for AAC, connect a Bluetooth speaker, your child is heard above the excitement of other nearby treaters.
Need a low-tech AAC solution?
Download this printable AAC keyring to have some phrases on hand while enjoying your night.
Boardmaker has printable Halloween Communication Bracelets and sheets!
Practice and Create a Schedule
Any changes to a set routine can unsettle children and adults with special needs, especially those on the autism spectrum. Creating a Halloween social story is a technique that can prepare them for the big day. Here are printable Social Stories for multiple Halloween activities. Get your child or adult ready to trick or treat with a visual plan to manage their expectations during the night of festivities.
Incorporate the AT into their Costume
If your child or adult uses a wheelchair, build the costume highlighting it! Here are some awesome examples!
Are you Staying at Home for Halloween?
Here are some accessible and sensory-friendly Halloween activities.
Notes for Those Handing out Treats
Some might prefer staying home and handing out candy to the trick or treaters. Here are a few things to keep in mind if someone with special needs knocks on your door:
- If your front porch has steps, consider moving in front of the steps or into the driveway to make your home more accessible for all treaters to visit!
- Do not focus on the treater’s disability. You may have the best intentions, but making it about their disability can make them feel uncomfortable.
- Have some non-food treats to give to treaters with food allergies. Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project.
- Some children with special needs can take longer to speak their words. If you see them using an AAC app, wait patiently while they type.
- Some children may be non-verbal and may not be able to say ”trick or treat”. So, it is better to hand out treats or toys to them without waiting.
- If you have a trick planned to spook the children, please refrain from doing so unless you’re sure that the child at the door will be okay with that.
- If you have scary music or lighting in your house that seems to overwhelm a child, please put the child at ease by turning them off.
- Have fun!
Have a fun and safe Halloween, from all of us at FAAST!