Making it Through Halloween with a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. As a child, I couldn’t wait to stay up late and go out in the dark to see all the spooky costumes and the excitement that filled the cold, winter streets. Groups of friends going door to door trick or treating while others are lurking around ready to jump out and give a good fright.

But, as a mother, this feeling of excitement has been replaced with worry. Not because I am worried about what kind of mischief my child will get into, but rather if my kids will last the day without having a panic attacks or meltdowns. I have a child with autism and a child with anxiety. My oldest boy, who is 13, is autistic. My younger boy, who is 9, has anxiety. For both boys, this holiday comes with fear. Not your typical fear of monsters and scares, but a fear of change.

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