Creating a Spooktacular Trick or Treat with AAC Boards and Sensory-Friendly Costumes
For individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) or require sensory-friendly accommodations, here are some tips and tricks to ensure this festive occasion is a safe and enjoyable spooktacular Halloween experience for everyone involved.
Communicating with AAC or Visual Aids
1. Preparation is Key
Before heading out for trick or treating, ensure the AAC device is fully charged and properly working. Have backup batteries on hand, just in case. If using visual aids, ensure they are printed and ready to go.
2. Customize Vocabulary
Tailor the AAC device’s vocabulary for Halloween-specific phrases and expressions. Include phrases like “Trick or Treat,” “Thank you,” and “Happy Halloween!”
3. Practice with Play
Engage in role-playing scenarios at home to help your child become comfortable saying or using their AAC device to communicate trick-or-treating phrases. Encourage them to initiate interactions with neighbors and practice beforehand.
5. Be Patient and Supportive
Allow extra time for communication, be patient, and offer encouragement when your child uses their AAC device or visual aid. Praise their efforts to build confidence.
1. Comfortable Fabrics
Opt for costumes made from soft, breathable fabrics to minimize discomfort. Avoid itchy materials that may irritate.
2. Seamless Seams
Choose costumes with minimal seams or rough edges to reduce sensory sensitivities. Consider inside-out costumes for a smoother feel against the skin.
3. Adjustable Fasteners
Opt for costumes with adjustable closures like Velcro or snaps rather than tight-fitting elastic or buttons. This allows for a custom fit and can help prevent discomfort.
4. Sensory-Friendly Accessories
Incorporate sensory-friendly accessories like fidget toys or chewable necklaces into the costume. These can provide comfort and serve as a soothing distraction.
5. Open-Faced Masks
Consider face paint or masks that leave the eyes and mouth area open. This allows for better airflow and reduces feelings of confinement.
Remember, Halloween is a time for fun and inclusivity. By implementing these tips, you can create a memorable experience for children of all abilities. Happy Halloween!