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

B.C. 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 B.C. 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 cost 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

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news channels were full of images of Mi’kmaq fishermen in New Brunswick battling federal fisheries officers over seized lobster traps. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Nisga’a Lisims Government calls on Prime Minister to act in N.S. fisheries dispute

NLG President: “We are shocked by what’s happening in Nova Scotia”

A nurse prepares a flu shot. The public vaccine for the 2020-2021 flu season is now in pharmacies in Terrace. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Private flu vaccines scarce at Terrace pharmacies

Public flu vaccines still available for those with greatest need

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read