Elizabeth Rivera from Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers in Terre Haute joined Shelby and David Tuesday morning on WTWO 6:30 Today to discuss this topic. You can see the full interview in the video box above.


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO / WAWV) — Halloween is fast approaching and, for most kids, it’s a fun time filled with activities, dressing up and, of course, trick-or-treating.

But, for children with Autism and other sensory disorders, Halloween can be overwhelming, and even scary, according to Elizabeth Rivera from Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers in Terre Haute.

“A lot of our kiddos are a mix of both. Some of them like a lot of the sensory stuff. They like the lots and they like a lot of pressure, and, some would rather not,” explains Rivera. “They would rather be in their little bubble and need the quiet.”

For this reason, Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers published a Halloween Guide for Kids with Autism. In the guide, experts offer tips for parents:

Costume choices can make a big difference

When it comes to your child’s costume, the fabric can make kids with Autism or other sensory disorders uncomfortable.

“A lot of costumes have a very specific material,” says Rivera. “So, if you know your kiddo may not like that, give it a try, but also be able to have that flexibility; maybe they want pajamas with those special characters or whatever on them.”

CLICK HERE for a list of Autism-friendly costumes for purchase or DYI

Keep an open mind

Experts with Hopebridge Center say, “Don’t force something just because it’s what everyone else is doing. Be flexible and prepared to adjust. Maybe walk up and down the street but don’t go door to door this year. Or even stay home and have your own Halloween “party,” with movies, treats and a Halloween egg hunt, or hand out candy to other kids instead. Having fun is most important. It may take time – even years – but think about it as working towards your child’s future of fun the next couple of years.”

Above all, it’s best to plan with intent, but let go of any expectations for Halloween, especially for the first time around.