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Autism Family Network in Lincoln shares tips for inclusive Halloween

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 8:35 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Trick-or-treating is a Halloween activity that most kids look forward to each year. The Autism Family Network of Lincoln has shared ways to keep the fun activity inclusive to all children, especially for children on the autism spectrum.

The president of the organization, Cathy Martinez, encouraged those who are passing out candy this year to understand that children with autism and their families have different experiences with the holiday than others.

“It is different and sometimes challenging to have a child on the autism spectrum,” Martinez said. “Sometimes that can be very disappointing for families or parents because their child isn’t experiencing them like other children would.”

Also, Martinez said to keep in mind that disabilities are not always seen with the eye. Some children deal with food sensitivities, and it’s important to pass out non-food items or offer them as a second option.

In addition to food, some children with autism are sensitive to light and sound. Martinez explained that parents should be patient and understanding toward this and not force their children to participate in Halloween activities.

If parents do have children who want to trick-or-treat, she recommends that they practice going door-to-door at familiar homes, like a family member’s house.

Martinez said that another Halloween activity for children with autism is a “trunk or treat” event, it’s an event that is sensory friendly and doesn’t involve children going door to door.

The Autism Family Network will be hosting a sensory-friendly Halloween party on Sunday, October 31 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Deer Springs Winery. They will have pumpkin painting, games, s’mores, and more. You can RSVP by emailing Autism Family Network of Lincoln here.

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