RANDOLPH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Although Halloween can be a fun and spooky night for children, for those with autism it can be very stressful.
Ivy Chong works at the May Institute, an nonprofit that works with those who have autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. She spoke with WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe about some precautions communities can take to help care for their neighbors with autism.
Chong says those giving out candy should be mindful of those differently-abled.
"For families who are handing out candy and they may have a child with autism come to their door...just understanding children are all the same," Chong said. "Children with autism might have difficulty either with the treat, looking in their eye, or saying thank you, and not to think the child...is being rude, but maybe they just have a different way of interacting."
Especially for those on the spectrum who cannot engage in imaginary thinking, seeing another child dressed in costume might be confusing. Chong says parents of individuals with autism can take preemptive steps to help their children understand Halloween.
"Maybe talk to their child about what they're going to be doing on Halloween, either through a story or story-based intervention or just talking about what is expected," Chong said. "They can also practice either putting on costumes or picking out a costume or practice trick-or-treating."
Chong suggests putting together a schedule on a large bulletin board, so that kids know what to expect the night of Halloween.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports