My son has Asperger's Syndrome and sensory processing disorder, and for years, Halloween was a tricky holiday for us as a family. (No pun intended.) He was and is easily overwhelmed by the festivities, creatures, noises, and general merriment of the day. While his symptoms have improved dramatically with years of therapy, we still have to be wary about how we celebrate the holiday with our beautiful boy. If you're struggling like I have in previous years, you'll want to know some sensory-friendly Halloween ideas for kids that are fun for the whole family.
Thankfully, the more information we have about kids with sensory processing disorders and how they respond, the more ideas surface on how to have an enjoyable holiday experience with them that more often than not includes siblings and friends as a part of the holiday. But it's also important to know that some disorders, like autism, are on a spectrum, so what's fun and easy for my son may not work as well for your child, and vice versa. It's all about catering to your child's particular strengths, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and tailoring your holiday around that. It might mean you go trick-or-treating, it may mean you develop your own alternative.
There are no hard and fast rules for kids on the spectrum, but safe sensory play is paramount for them, so you'll want to take time to prepare them for the holiday as much as anything else, according to the AOTA. That means you want to practice trick-or-treating, do a dry run of the costume, and also talk to them about the possibilities they might encounter.