Written by: Madison Bartley, Instructor Therapist
What a wonderful day we had celebrating this exciting, (but sometimes scary) day! As we know, Halloween and Autism can be a scary time for all parties involved! Whether it be overcoming rigid barriers to get into an unfamiliar costume, or the anxiety experienced when interacting with strangers, Halloween can be an unsettling time for children and youth with Autism. That being said, the team at Lighthouse ensured to prepare our kiddos for this exciting holiday, and to help ease any anxieties that the children may have been experiencing.
We took a trip to Brooks Farms in Mount Albert on October 26 to get some pumpkins for our kids to decorate on Halloween. The staff and students had an amazing time picking their pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and playing in the Barnyard Playland, where the Giant Jumping Pillow and jump pads were a huge hit!
On Halloween Monday, the three classrooms and the ABA Therapy room took part in some Halloween festivities! Both the staff and students came dressed up in costumes that ranged from scary-to-cute, and funny costumes too! The staff at Lighthouse collaborated and worked as a team (as we do best) to tackle dressing up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with the Magic Mirror, Woodland Creatures, and even a Scary Witch!
The senior classroom geared up for Halloween by reading Roald Daul’s “The Witches” as a novel study during the month of October. On Halloween the senior class painted spooky Halloween landscapes, and even wrote “Rotten Real Estate Listings” to try and sell the spooky houses! They turned out great! Miss Lily’s class also carved pumpkins, and assisted the younger grades with trick-or-treat practice. A visual task analysis was developed and used by the kids to follow and learn the steps of trick-or-treat! The junior and primary classes practiced the trick-or-treat routine with the senior class, to ease any anxieties, increase familiarity with, and strengthen confidence in the trick-or-treat routine. A big thank you to the gentlemen in the senior class, and to Miss Lily for assisting the junior, and primary classes with trick-or-treat practice.
The junior class celebrated Halloween by decorating cupcakes, painting pumpkins, playing Halloween Family Feud, dancing, and of course eating candy! The junior class worked really hard when practicing the trick-or-treat routine! We are very proud of them!
The primary class celebrated Halloween by painting pumpkins, decorating treat bags, making Halloween decorations for the classroom, and a craft where they made spiders out of tootsie pops and pipe cleaners! The primary class practiced the trick-or-treat routine throughout the month of October, and truly benefited from the practice with the visual task analysis. So much fun!
The ABA Therapy classroom celebrated Halloween by decorating cookies, painting pumpkins, and listening and dancing to Halloween songs! The ABA class also practiced the trick-or-treat routine to ensure that the kids were familiar with, and comfortable with the routine. As you can imagine, the cookie decorating got messy-especially with sprinkles involved!
As you can see, the Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre had a blast celebrating Halloween! We also were sure to be mindful of any anxieties that may be present surrounding the holiday, and to prepare our kiddos for Halloween by familiarizing and strengthening their confidence with the Halloween trick-or-treat routine!