Last year I remember seeing a post circulating on Facebook or Pinterest that explained how children with speech or language difficulties, Autism in particular, may have difficulties during Hallowe'en. The aim was to raise public awareness so that people do not immediately think these children are being rude.
Shortly after Hallowe'en last year I remember talking to my Dad and he complained that several of the children in his neighbourhood did not say anything, but just opened their bags for candy, and his impression was that they were being rude. Being a speechie, I immediately launched in with an explanation of how there may be other reasons to explain why those children did not speak. I remember thinking at the time that I needed to recirculate that post at future Hallowe'ens.
Fast forward to this year - I have searched high and low and I have not been able to find that post to send it out again this Hallowe'en. Since I think this is such an important message to get out to the public, I have created my own version. I would love to give credit to the original for my inspiration, so if you think you know how to find it please let me know in the comments.
Trick or Treat?
This Hallowe'en there is a very good chance that a child that knocks on your door may be experiencing some form of communication difficulty, that can impact their speech, language or social-language skills.
These difficulties can result in children being mistaken for being rude. Help them by treating them as you would any other child and by NOT drawing attention to these potential communication difficulties.
On behalf of the children who cannot communicate for themselves, thank you for your patience this Hallowe'en.
Click here for a printable pdf poster that you can display to help increase public awareness. [Please note: the preview on Google Docs reduces the image quality, but the downloaded pdf shows the image properly]
Edited to add: I have modified the wording slightly and highlighted some text. The version pictured to the left has a link to this new version (the link above will take you to the original version). Since this was my first time using InDesign and also since I wanted to get this done quickly for use this year, I have had to make these modifications. I hope to improve on it further for next year. Stay tuned. :-)