An All-Inclusive Halloween

10 Oct 2016

It is that haunting time of year again! We all enjoy the good times that occur during the Halloween season. Costumes, parties, treats, and let’s not forget the tricks. We all love Halloween, but it can be a challenging time of the year for many of our friends and neighbors. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), seizure disorders, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have a very difficult time enjoying all that the Halloween season has to offer. Things that we neurotypicals (NT) find to be funny or super-cool may trigger symptoms of a person’s disability.

Here are just a few things to consider to ensure an all-inclusive Halloween:

  1. Lights that flash rapidly (strobe lights) may trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.
  2. Hiding or purposefully jumping at another person could result in a fight or flight situation for people living with ASD, IDD or PTSD.
  3. Not all disabilities are visible. Please do not rely on physical appearance to determine if a person needs consideration. We all need consideration.
  4. Speak with your children about being kind and respectful while gathering their Halloween treats.
  5. BE AWARE! As you move through your communities, please pay special attention. Many children and adults of varying ability levels have low safety skills and are not aware of their surroundings.

More and more children with ASD are participating in the tradition of “trick or treating,” so don’t be surprised if the little guy or girl from next door comes through the living room, takes a seat and joins you for Wheel of Fortune. Be kind to their parents; it isn’t as simple as it seems and social rules are difficult to understand.


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