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Philadelphia: Autism school principal claims one in 10 students have autism

Oct 23, 2023, PHIL 17, Philadelphia: Ways to Make Halloween Autism-Friendly https://phl17.com/phl17-news/ways-to-make-halloween-autism-friendly/

The Durand Academy in Woodbury, New Jersey joins PHL17 with tips on how to make Halloween autism friendly.

Video interview with principal of Durand Academy, autism school.

Principal Jennifer Amoroso: Currently within the field of education, we have about one in 10 individuals who’s actually diagnosed with autism. The Durand Academy serves all individuals on the autism spectrum or individuals who can be serviced by applied behavior analysis.

Anchor: So it’s super wide spread. So a lot of kids could be out trick or treating who have autism, so we want to make sure everyone is able to give them the best night and make it all possible for them.

…Your first tip is to be on the lookout for teal or blue pumpkins while trick or treating. …

Amoroso: That is an indication that the house is autism friendly. …

She continued to tell viewer to “limit sensory triggers” like lighting and sound. People should be patient handing out candy to autistic children. They may engage in “challenging behaviors.”

• Look for teal and blue pumpkins: Teal pumpkins usually indicate that the house you are visiting offers non-food treats for trick or treaters with food allergies or intolerances, while blue pumpkins indicate the house is autism-friendly.

• Limit sensory triggers: Unfamiliar sensations can be difficult for children on the spectrum to experience. Limit your child’s sensory triggers by avoiding houses decorated with fog machines, strobe lights, loud sound effects, and startling animatronics.

• Select a sensory-friendly costume: Itchy tags, tight collars, and constricting masks can create an uncomfortable Halloween experience for children with sensory needs. Avoid a meltdown by selecting a sensory-friendly, adaptive Halloween costume for your child to wear. Have them try on the costume a few times before wearing it out to make sure it fits comfortably.

• Avoid face paint and masks: Masks and face paint can not only irritate a child’s skin, but also narrow their line of vision and interfere with their balance. Skip the face decorating and opt for a non-constricting hat instead to make a costume (and the experience wearing it) even better!


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