Trick or Treat, Neurodivergent Style

Our 15 year old autistic teen, Viktor, is happy to share their diagnosis with just about anyone. They are good with explaining their behaviors and ways of experiencing the world to people who don’t understand why they are the way they are. But they are just one autistic person, and that is their choice. No child should have to announce their neurodiversity in order to be treated with kindness and respect.

It’s really quite easy: Smile to the kids who come up to your door, say trick or treat (or whatever your preferred greeting is), and drop your goodies into their receptacle. Don’t make assumptions about them, their ages, their abilities, or their behavior. Don’t shame or cajole them into interacting with you.

If you aren’t up for just passing out candy (or stickers or glowsticks or whatever you’re into gifting) and being nice to everyone who comes up to your door, then leave your light off and celebrate Halloween some other way.

If your child is autistic, explain the blue pumpkin and let them make the choice as to whether they would like to use it or not. Don’t forget to also let them decide whether they would like to go trick or treating or not, and be prepared to cut out early if they’ve had enough.

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