Saturday, September 28, 2013

I NEVER Worry About Mike Being Left Out

I never worry about Mike being left out of parties - I'm always too busy hosting our OWN, BETTER PARTY!!

For the past four years, we have hosted a 
Trick-or-Treat party for 
our school's Raider Buddies group. Our group averages approximately 
50 ESE & typical students, teachers, 
parents, and friends. 

To ensure a successful and EASY party, I have streamlined the organizations. Here are some of MY helpful party tips:

* Send invitations EARLY and OFTEN, especially if you're dealing with high school kids- typically the first week in October. (I've included a copy of MY flyer) ...

* DON'T LEAVE ANYONE OUT!!  If you have students living in group homes, as we do - arrange transportation/carpools EARLY. Oftentimes, proof of insurance is required to transport students that live in group homes. (It's very simple - just don't wait until the last minute.) I actually invite the entire group home to participate. Last year, I had a developmentally delayed 39 year-old woman who Trick-or-Treated for the first time in her life.  She talked about it for MONTHS! 

* Seek donations for Trick-or Treat bags - some kids will show up without them.  My grocery store hosts a Halloween event and is HAPPY to supply our group with bags.

*  Make sure EVERYONE has a costume. I typically keep some face paint on hand, just in case.

*  Have water bottles and stick one in every student's bag.  We are fortunate to have a golf cart follow our group.  It carries extra water and assists when students get tired.

*  Have a CLEAR pick-up time on your invite.  

* BE ORGANIZED:  I typically don't allow the students INSIDE my home for this event. If I do, they will make a mess and I'll never get them motivated to leave on schedule.  I organize the bags, water bottles and candy, on tables, in my driveway.

To ensure that my neighbors are prepared for a group of 50 or more teenagers, I send a flyer to ALL of my neighbors, notifying them of our group (I've included MY flyer).

MY NEIGHBORS LOVE OUR GROUP!! Last year, I had a neighbor drop off candy and treats for our kids, prior to Halloween because she wasn't going to be home.  I also had a neighbor write a letter to our school board members bragging about our students.   

*  Have an adult or typical student LEAD the group.  We pair our kids up with their buddies, but assign a LEADER to notify the homeowner that your group in there. 

*  Snap a group picture and SEND A THANK YOU CARD TO YOUR NEIGHBORS! They will LOVE this and feel good about supporting our kids!

*  Invite your principal.  He/she probably won't come, but make them aware of the event. I'm hoping to get some press coverage this year. :-) 

*  Bring flashlights

Raider Buddies
Trick-or-Treat Party


At Mike’s House

Halloween Night
6:30 – 9:00

Please come in your costume!  Bring a flashlight, candy bag, and eat dinner prior to arriving.  We will be leaving promptly at 
6:30 to Trick-or-Treat

If you need a ride or a costume, 
please contact Ms. XXXX

Dear Neighbor,

My son, Michael has autism and is a special education student at XXX high school. I have invited the Raider Buddies club to Trick-or-Treat our neighborhood on Halloween night.

Raider Buddies is a school sponsored club that encourages friendships between general and special education students.  

Please be advised that some of the ‘special students’  in our group have challenges with language and personal space.  Some of our students are very fearful of scary costumes.  We will assign a leader to notify you when group is approaching. I would appreciate your cooperation in not attempting to scare the students.  Also, taking just ONE piece of candy can be a difficult concept for some of our kids.  If possible, I would prefer that you hand the students the candy, rather than allowing them to grab a handful. 

I’m anticipating a group of approximately fifty (50) special and general education students, faculty, and parents.  They’re a wonderful group of kids – I promise they won’t Trick, as long as you give them some Treats!

Thank  you & Happy Halloween,
Autism Hippie

As you can see, I've done ALL the work for YOU!!  I hope I've motivated you to get involved and plan your own Trick-or-Treating party! 

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