Planning an Autism-Friendly Halloween

autism-friendly halloween

This post was originally published on October 4, 2016.

Halloween is a fun holiday to celebrate for both children and adults, and there are plenty of ways to help children on the spectrum enjoy this time of year. Some children may find it exciting to dress up and participate in spooky-themed activities while others are frightened by the new sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of this holiday. This article offers some ideas for planning an autism-friendly Halloween to help your autistic child or family member fully appreciate this fun holiday.

Don’t Perpetuate Ableism This Halloween

Are you participating in any Halloween activities that stigmatize individuals on the spectrum? Like all holidays, there are a variety of social activities and traditions that may be exclusionary or unwelcome to autistic individuals. (See this previous post for ways to make Halloween more inclusive for autistics). However, even more disappointing are the rituals and social activities people participate in that contribute to the stigma of those on the spectrum. Some of these traditions are so entrenched in our culture that many are unaware of their damaging connotations. This article examines the playful and harmful aspects of Halloween so interested readers can ensure they are celebrating the holiday appropriately and not contributing to ableist stigmas.

Understanding Autism

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The following article was originally published on http://franklludwig.com/ by Frank L. Ludwig. It offers a careful analysis and explanation of a variety of autistic behaviors in an effort to help neurotypicals better understand, support, and accept people on the spectrum. It’s a great read for parents, families, and educators of autistic children and adults. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission.

Voices From the Spectrum #47: Frank Ludwig on Autism Appreciation

Frank L. Ludwig is an Irish author of several short stories, plays, essays, and poems. He writes about autism appreciation, among other topics and believes “Autism is not only a natural but an indispensable part of human neurological diversity.” This week Frank shared with us his experience receiving a late diagnosis, and advice on how to not only respect individuals on the spectrum, but learn to appreciate the autism’s presence in society.

Voices From the Spectrum #46 Part 2: Courtney Johnson on Autism Advocacy

Courtney Johnson is a writer, public speaker, and Chemistry Ph.D Candidate on the autism spectrum. Courtney manages the website AutismAchiever.com, where her goal is to share information she has learned through her varied life experiences to help individuals on the spectrum reach their full potential. Last week Courtney shared some of her personal experiences growing up on the spectrum. This week she discusses her advocacy work and how parents can best advocate for their children.

Voices From the Spectrum #46 Part 1: Courtney Johnson on Motivation

Courtney Johnson is a writer, public speaker, and Chemistry Ph.D Candidate on the autism spectrum. Courtney is a professional speaker on topics related to her experience with autism, inspiring her audience to achieve at higher levels. She also manages the website AutismAchiever.com, where her goal is to share information she has learned through her varied life experiences to help individuals on the spectrum reach their full potential. This week Courtney shared some of her personal experiences growing up on the spectrum. Visit us next week to hear her discuss her advocacy work and how parents can best advocate for their children.

Voices From the Spectrum #45: A.J. Mahari on the Stigma of Asperger’s Syndrome

A.J. Mahari is a counselor, life coach, mental health and personal development coach, and author on the spectrum. A.J. was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40 and manages the website aspergeradults.ca, which seeks to talk about not only her own experience and insights as an adult with Asperger’s, but also call attention to the gender differences in females and males with AS. This week A.J. shared some of her experiences as a counselor to other individuals with Asperger’s, the stigma of autism, and how to advocate for people on the spectrum.

 

Self-Diagnosis: An Interview with The Greatest Adventure Blogger

Threedeemee is a UK blogger and mother of an autistic son. Sensory issues and other autistic traits led her to self-diagnose as an adult before a formal evaluation ruled out this diagnosis. Today she blogs at The Greatest Adventure, opening up about her experiences raising an autistic son where other parents can find encouragement, information and support through shared parenting experiences.