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October is Approaching, Are you Prepared

October is coming fast and with it comes all of the festivities! However, for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we understand it may be difficult for them to fully take part in the festivities without preparation. Here are some ways to prepare.

Got Pumpkins?

Help your child get into the spirit of Halloween by decorating, carving, or painting a few pumpkins! You and your child can also enjoy the seasonal goodness of some of my pumpkin favorites: pumpkin cookies, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin donuts, and don't forget roasted pumpkin seeds! Did you know pumpkin is filled with vitamin E? So, enjoy the nutrient-enriched benefits of treating yourself to some of this seasons holiday flavor.

Got Costumes?

This is probably one of the best preparation ideas on this list. Around this time of the year the world is filled with costumes but take your time and select a costume that your child will feel comfortable in all night. Some children love costumes, but comfort is important. Make sure that your child is comfortable with the texture and fit of the costume. So, get the costume early so he/she can practice putting it on and wearing it around before the big night!

Got Candy?

Remember that not everyone can enjoy the same treats. So, take the time to prepare a variety of options for your child and other trick-or-treaters. Enjoy providing the classics, but also create some wonderful sugar-free, gluten-free, and/or casein-free options!

Are you ready?

Whether you plan on trick-or-treating or handing candy out at the door, take some time to rehearse with your child what the routine for the night will look like!

• Take a walk and go through the trick-or-treating routine.

• Practice social cues by rehearsing questions and answers he/she might encounter that night.

• Allow some downtime before the festivities start.

• Let your child know the time-frame for things.

o When the events will start

o When the events will end

o What they have to look forward to when it is all over.

• Remember to work at your child's level and pace.

• Plan for safety, get an ID badge if your child could get lost in the crowd.

Every holiday is supposed to be about connectedness. So, in whatever form or fashion that may take for you and your family remember to have fun together and if you elect not to participate in the festivities, remember there is no "failing a holiday." It is perfectly okay to stay-in for the holiday, close the door, and shut off the porchlight.

Happy Holiday!

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