October 31 is a day full of ghouls, goblins, and candy. But for children on the autism spectrum it can pose a whole list of issues.

“There’s issues relating to safety, stranger danger that those children don’t understand and trick-or-treating for families on the spectrum isn’t all that enjoyable” said Dr.Nichole Eaton of the Buffalo Autism Project.


But thanks to members of the Buffalo Autism Project trick or treating may be a little easier for them. The organization started a sensory trick or treat at the Buffalo Zoo so all kids can enjoy Halloween.

“My son’s on the spectrum and there are a lot of times when he doesn’t go trick or treating and just stays in the house . So this gives him an opportunity to go trick or treating without being overwhelmed by going door to door,” said Laura Moeller president of the Buffalo Autism Project.

Kids can come either in-costume or street clothes and there’s not only candy, but beads, necklaces, and other sensory-friendly items to help them relax.

“We made sure that it’s not over- crowded. We have a room that kids can go to where they can be alone and calm themselves down if they get overwhelmed,” Moeller said.

Parents say it’s a relief to not have to deal with explaining the sudden meltdowns that come frequently with kids on the spectrum, which can be problematic for both the child and those handing out treats.

“This is great because everyone is on the same level and everyone can understand what you’re going through,” said Jason Valentine, a Buffalo parent whose daughter Ariel is autistic.

The Buffalo Autism Project is holding a bar crawl on October 29 to help raise scholarship funds for students on the spectrum. Click here for more information.



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