Tips for supporting your child with autism during Halloween is very personal to me, you see my oldest son was born with this disorder. If you are a parent or grandparent I am sure you understand how the holidays are different for your child, so I am going to be sharing not only tips but also family resources so you can get assistance when you need it.
Infant Autism Signs
Today one out of ever 68 children shows signs of this disorder, and if you have a son they are over 4 times the risk than girls are. My son was not diagnosed until he was already in school, but with more knowledge of the symptoms with babies and infants we can start helping our children much sooner. Our first responsibility as parents and grandparents is to understand what to watch out for, so these are some things you should be watching for in your very young child.
- Avoiding eye contact even at this age is one of the most common signs, so paying more attention to your child’s eyes is something you need to be aware of.
- The next thing is to notice how they react with interaction, you will find the majority of babies avoid interacting. Many will not look or listen to other people, so this is another symptom of this disorder.
- Oddly I remember my son didn’t babble like my other sons, and at the time his physician’s just told me all babies don’t start the baby talk at the same time.
Infants are more difficult to diagnose until they become older many times, but by knowing more about what to look for can help you get them treatment earlier.
Toddler Autism Symptoms
As your baby grows from their infancy stage to their toddler stage the symptoms are more obvious, you as parents and grandparents should start noticing something is different about your child around this time.
- Interacting with other children is almost never done, you will experience your little one prefers to play by themselves. So early socialization skills is a sure symptom to be aware of, and it is not that they don’t get along with other children, they just prefer to keep to themselves.
- This was not a problem for my oldest son since he is high-functioning, but many children struggle to communicate with even their own families.
- Repetitive behavior was very obvious with my own son as a toddler, and he often would line up objects that were not toys. He would spend hours going through the canned-goods lining them up, so often children with autism will show repetitive behaviors that are odd.
- Hand flapping was very obvious with my own son, and from what I have learned this is very common among many children. You also might notice your child does hand waving as well, and this can be very distracting for some families.
- You might notice the toddler rocking back and forth at times, and this is another common symptom to be on the outlook for.
- My boy never did this one, but twirling is something some kids might do as well. So these are repetitive habits you might notice your toddler doing, and as parents and grandparents consult your baby’s physician if you notice any of these behaviors.
- The last of these you might notice is the lack of pointing to objects, and also my son never showed interest by gesturing towards any of his toys. Actually my boy had very little interest in regular toddler activities and playthings, so this is my last symptom to share with you from my own experience with my own child.
Today physicians are able to diagnose autism earlier than when my son was a little boy, so the earlier your child is diagnosed the sooner therapeutic treatment can be applied. Beware all children don’t possess all of these signs and symptoms, and every child with autism doesn’t act the same.
Autism And Parenting
As a parent of a grown-up son with autism, I know how valuable good resources are. This book is a good resource for families, and if this interests you, I have listed the highlights below. If you are not in need or interested, I encourage you to move forward to my next paragraph. In my own opinion, I would have jumped on this when my son was just a little boy, and for the price of $20.95, this is a very good deal.
Full of wit and warm advice, this book empowers autistic parents and reassures them that autism is strength in raising their children with love, knowledge, and experience, while also giving non-autistic parents and professionals a fresh perspective on helping autistic children to thrive.
- Three mothers reflect on their experiences of growing up as undiagnosed autistics, venturing into and embracing motherhood, and connecting with their children in a unique and powerful way.
- They offer advice on overcoming the challenges of parenting when you are autistic, such as socializing with other parents or sensory issues that come with excessive touch.
- Reflecting on their own experiences, they also emphasize the positives of being an autistic parent to an autistic child, such as understanding why their child is struggling or the open-mindedness that can come from not being constrained by societal norms.
- They also explain how out-of-the-box thinking leads to the creative parenting of non-autistic children, forming strong and loving bonds.
About The Author
Renata Jurkevythz is a features writer for Spectrum Women Magazine and contributor to the book Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Before writing about autism, Renata used to write about parenting in her blog and on the website of a local parenting/birth group in Brazil. She was professionally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2016. She lives in Germany.
Maura Campbell is a senior editor and features writer for Spectrum Women Magazine and co-author of Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism and has written on autism and learning disability for a range of other publications, including AuKids Magazine, and for the BBC. She was professionally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2011. She lives in Northern Ireland.
Lisa Morgan is the author of Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a co-author of Been There Done That, Try This! both published through Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Lisa is an assistant editor, feature writer, and columnist of Spectrum Women Magazine and provided the foreword to Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. She is also co-chair of the Suicide and Autism committee of the American Association of Suicidology. She is an autistic adult and lives in Maine, USA.
Renata Jurkevythz, Maura Campbell, Lisa Morgan, Barb Cook
Autism Alternative Therapies
As a parent, I would never recommend any medications in any of my articles, and one of the reasons is I feel this should be only used as a last resort. My son had more complications when put on medicine as a little boy, and from taking him off of them, and using the alternative therapies benefitted him so much more. I will be honest with you, I am not a physician or have any type of medical background, so this information is coming only from my own experience with my own son. You are wise to consult your child’s physician for treatment recommendations, so with that out of the way next is what worked for my own son.
- The first positive change I noticed was changing his diet, you will find out many children with autism are extra sensitive to many types of foods. These food sensitivities are not your regular allergy symptoms, but they actually may increase their autism symptoms. For anyone interested in a good resource The Autism & ADHD Diet is a good place to start, so let’s go now to what is your next best step.
- Children with this disorder usually are highly connected to music, so by using this you can provide them a healthy coping skill. Again I highly recommend parents and grandparents encouraging music into their child’s regular daily routine. If you happen to have a high-functioning child introducing them to a musical instrument can be the best thing you ever do, and music therapy is used regularly by therapists.
- Another method used today that was not around when my son was a boy is relaxation therapies, and again this is used by therapists for these kids regularly.
If you are interested in going with natural alternative therapy, I highly recommend you consider the list above. You will find all of these are good even if you don’t suffer from autism, so even parents can benefit from using these to cope better with their stress today.
- “My autism makes things shine. Sometimes I think it is amazing but sometimes it is sad when I want to be the same and talk the same and I fail. Playing the piano makes me very happy. Playing Beethoven is like your feelings – all of them – exploding.” — Artist Mikey Allcock
- “And now I know it is perfectly natural for me not to look at someone when I talk. Those of us with Asperger’s are just not comfortable doing it. In fact, I don’t really understand why it’s considered normal to stare at someone’s eyeballs.” — John Elder Robison
- “I always find it kind of funny that normal people are always saying autistic children ‘live in their own little world.’ When you work with animals for a while you start to realize you can say the same thing about normal people. There’s a great big, beautiful world out there that a lot of normal folks are just barely taking in. Autistic people and animals are seeing a whole register of the visual world normal people can’t, or don’t.” — Temple Grandin
If you enjoyed reading these quotes, you can read more on the website The Mighty, and I thank this site for publishing these inspirational quotes to share with you. Please be patient for my tips for supporting your child with autism during Halloween, and next, I want to share with you a recipe.
Kid-Friendly Autism Recipes
First, before sharing my recipe of the day, I want to share some of the things to avoid in your child’s diet. These children are much like people suffering from autoimmune diseases, and below are some of the main food triggers both of them experience.
- High Carb Diets
Now that I have given you some guidelines to consider, we can start preparing my recipe for you today.
Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Bites
This recipe will not be pushed aside by your pickiest eater, and you can find more recipes such as Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites on the website Celiac.org.
What You Need
- 1 Pound Bacon Slices
- 20 Ounces Pineapple Chunks
- 2 Tablespoons of Honey
- 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon of Chipotle Chile Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Green Onion Thinly Slices and Optional
Let’s Get Started
- You will want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- While waiting for your oven line a sheet pan with aluminum foil
- Place your wire rack on the top
- Now cut each strip of your bacon slices in half
- Wrap your bacon strip around your pineapple chunk, you will want to skew in the middle of your pineapple chunk.
- Just repeat this process for all your chunks of pineapple
- Next, you are ready for the honey, you will want to drizzle the honey over your bacon wraps.
- Very sparingly sprinkle your chile powder next
- Bake for 30 minutes flipping over when the bacon is crisp on each side, garnish with the green onion if desired.
This really sounds like a fun and tasty treat for your picky eater, and the best part it is very healthy for them. Even though the recipe doesn’t suggest this, I would consider using turkey bacon for even a healthier snack.
Prayers For Autism Children
I am sure you are becoming impatient for your tips for supporting your child with autism during Halloween, and right after I share some prayers for these children we will be getting to the tips you have so patiently been waiting for.
Prayer for Children with Asperger’s Syndrome
Merciful Lord, please touch my son, and give him peace and guidance as he navigates through a world that is often confusing to him. Lift him out of the depression he often suffers because he is laughed at, isolated, and excluded at school and in social settings. Help him overcome awkwardness in communicating and catching social cues. Help him acquire good social skills, so he can develop friendships and have a sense of belonging. Heal his wounded heart and lack of self-worth.
I stumbled upon this prayer while writing this article for you, and you can read more of these from the blog post 10 Uplifting Prayers for Autism.
Tips For Supporting Your Child With Autism During Halloween
As I promised now you are going to receive my tips that you have been patiently waiting for, and I thank you for your patience to read my article on Free Family Solutions today.
- Preparing your child with pictures and drawings is one way to get them ready for Halloween, you will need to prepare them for what activities are going to take place. This is really important if you are attending or having a party, and most of these kids need to ease into new things to avoid a panic attack.
- Be sure to get them into the costume if they are dressing up before the big day arrives, you will want to be sure they are comfortable being dressed up to avoid problems.
- For example, if your child is not comfortable with their costume or possibly wearing a mask, you never should force them. It might be best to provide them one of those eye masks instead of a face mask for some children, so these are something to consider.
- Rehearse the trick or treat ritual by going to a family home before the big day, and grandparents are a good choice for rehearsing.
- Avoid going to more houses than your child is comfortable, you will find for some of these kids even three to five houses is more than enough.
- I would recommend taking them to homes they have been to before and are familiar with, so consider taking them to close neighbors and family before strange homes in the neighborhood.
- For many kids celebrating Halloween at home works the best, and if you need ideas I have inserted a link above for you.
Thank you for reading tips for supporting your child with autism during Halloween, and I encourage you to leave me a comment if you have anything on your mind to share with me.