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

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

Penticton 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

A Penticton 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. “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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Lake Country saw its number of overdose calls double in 2020 over the previous year. (Black Press file photo)
Overdose calls doubled in Lake Country in 2020: report

The district’s protective services annual report shows there were 47 overdose calls last year

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Vernon husband and wife Jan (top) and Ken Waldon (with B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin), were among 44 provincial recipients of the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for volunteerism. The awards were presented at a special ceremony earlier in September in Victoria. (Government House Victoria photos)
Fintry heritage site champion loses battle with illness

Ken Waldon was the leading proponent behind the creation of Friends of the Fintry Provincial Park Society

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

RCMP search the vehicle after pouring out what appeared to be alcohol, onto the highway. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Kelowna woman arrested after alleged erratic driving, suspected impairment

RCMP say no injuries reported and investigation is ongoing

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read