NO TRICKS JUST TREATS! how to prepare your child for trick or treating this Halloween!!!

Trick-or-treating can be overwhelming without the right support and preparation. of course, each child is different! as a parent you know your child best! and what they can or cannot handle! if you're trying for the first time maybe it's just easier to trick or treat in your own house first or at a relative or friends house and start practicing in the room! and practice with your child!

also, if you are just going over to few neighbors, it would be best to give your neighbor heads up and be mindful with your child! maybe even schedule with them to go earlier than everyone else, so they're not overwhelmed or waiting in line!!!

there is no right or wrong how you decide to spend it!! maybe staying in is what your child needs

SO, before the first point make sure your child is ok and not stressed! or anxious!

1 – Talk through Your Night few days Before You Start Sometimes activities can feel more overwhelming if we do not know when they will end. My first tip for parents is to make sure trick-or-treating is presented to your child as having a distinct end — in ABA we call this a “close-ended activity.” Close-ended activities like puzzles or shape sorters have a distinct start and end. You can transform trick-or-treating into a close- ended activity by showing your child how many houses they will go to. For example if you and your child hope to go to 3 houses you can show your child three houses on a piece of paper and color them in as you go, or counting them out loud with your child. 2 – Practice, Practice and have fun! Trick-or-treating is a complicated task and something that is only practiced once a year. Practice by dressing up in the costume, saying trick- or-treat, and having your child get a treat. You can practice by knocking on doors or get your neighbors involved. During practice you can even have your child’s favorite treat ready for trick-or-treating. 3 – Watch a Video: Show your child a video of other people trick-or- treating. Seeing other people trick-or-treat and learning the steps of trick-or-treating by watching others can reduce the uncertainty your child may feel. or if your child is more visual make a social story. 4 – Consider Your Child’s Communication: Consider how to help your child communicate easily while trick-or-treating. When trying new things, it is best to rely on communication that feels easiest for your child. You may consider the use of visuals, adding “trick-or-treat” to an AAC device, or practicing with your child. 5 – Transitions and Safety: Transitions and safety are important to consider – evaluate what feels safe for your child. Consider if your child may need alternate ways to transition from one house to another (for example, driving to the homes of friends and family rather than walking your neighborhood, or using a wagon to move from house-to-house). You may also consider if your child will be safe trick-or-treating outside, or if finding an indoor event would be a better option.

6 – Most importantly Have Fun – Enjoy Your Time! The most important tip is to consider what would make the evening most engaging and fun for you and your child. Trick-or-treating and Halloween can be a source of stress for everyone in the family. Consider what is most important to you for trick-or-treating, and what is most important to your child. It may be handing out candy, it may be trick-or-treating over the entire neighborhood, it may be cuddling on the couch watching a Halloween movie. Make the day meaningful for you and what your family needs. There is no “right way” to do Halloween!

At Georgetown we will be giving out some treats! Costumes are welcome

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