A Penticton parent has come up with an idea to raise awareness about autism and to remind people to be conscious when handing out candy this Halloween. Submitted photo

Okanagan parent hopes to ease stress on autistic trick-or-treaters

Parent reminding those handing out candy, kids with special needs will be coming to their doors

An Okanagan parent hopes a sign on his little trick-or-treater will help bring awareness that kids with special needs will be coming to your doors on Halloween night.

“I saw the idea on Pinterest at some point and thought this would work great for us. My son is autistic and at three years old, he is the size of a five year old so people expect that he can talk. It can become very stressful when you have to apologize, especially on Halloween night, hundreds of times,” said Sean Hunt, who lives in Penticton. “I am always looking for ways to make things easier for him and any other parents out there.”

Related: Making air travel more friendly for kids with autism

Hunt, who runs Combat Athletics Okanagan which has a special needs program, is very aware of the challenges of ensuring special needs children are included in all activities. With his son being more mobile this year, he wants to get the jump on any potential challenges that might pose on Halloween.

“As a parent with a child with a disability, you don’t want to deny your child any activity that is seen as normal activity for kids. In terms of my child, he is non-verbal and can get aggressive when he gets into a social situation that he might not understand. The hope here is that having the simple sign that will hang around his neck, that he won’t notice or care about, brings awareness to people at the door.”

Hunt said his son may push his way through kids to get to the door or grab handfuls of candy and think it is a normal thing.

Related: Brentley’s journey with autism

“It is not that he is being mean, he simply doesn’t understand and may think that is normal behaviour.”

Hunt has shared the idea to a Facebook group he belongs to called the Invisible’s, created for parents of kids with autism and other special needs and has received positive feedback. He said events like Halloween can be particular tough on autistic kids because their disability might not always be noticeable on first sight.

“We ask people at the door to be patient and if they can, get down to their level. Don’t rush and be understanding that these kids may grab more than their share of candy because they don’t understand or might have fine motor control issues. People handing out the candy can also ask the other kids to give them some room,” Hunt suggests.

Related: B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Other reminders for those handing candy are that a child may not say trick-or-treat or thank you because they are non-verbal, they may not be wearing a costume because of sensory issues and it might take them longer to pick out one piece of candy.

“This is all about bringing awareness. When it comes to Halloween, and other events, it can forgotten that kids like my son are coming directly to them. It is important to be conscious that he might not act the same way as other kids.”

Hunt is offering the template to parents who also want the same sign, or he can create one for $5 which will cover the costs of the supplies.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Kristi Patton | Editor

KristiPatton

Send Kristi Patton an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ fire which made its way to the home

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Wilson M. Beck Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna benefiting YMCA of Okanagan

The tournament is sold out with 144 golfers swinging for the cause

Is construction in Kelowna hurting small businesses, or helping them?

Voices from both sides of the spectrum weigh in

Kelowna baseballers invited to league all-star game

The 2019 West Coast League All-Star Game will have two players from the Kelowna Falcons

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Most Read