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Surviving The Fall Autism Halloween Tips


By Zack Peter

Surviving the Fall!

Is it fall already? I could’ve sworn I was just going broke buying last year’s Christmas gifts and here we are again. (I guess that’s what happens when your parents both like to keep busy and give you an abundance of siblings.)

With a young brother on the spectrum following a biomedical treatment plan (and living my own life gluten- and dairy-free), the holiday season can often be one of the most challenging times of the year. There’s all the food, the family members that lack respect for the GFCF diet, the relatives that don’t quite understand Ethan, all the food, the ever-changing schedules, and then there’s all the food. Not to mention all the dirty looks from family when Ethan slips some sweets and then goes nuts (when yeast and hyperactivity become his two best friends). 

I opened it up to you guys, via social media, asking for suggestions for beating the holiday Gen Rescue Halloween pandemonium. Some said to skip the family gatherings and go on vacation. That certainly sounds nice, but who has the extra money? Some of you suggested passing out handouts to family members on autism. Please. My family believes Ethan just needs a “spankin’” and you want me to give them a handout?

Reality is, going out of town for the entire holiday season is just too expensive and reasoning with the family is likely going to end with aunt Gerald punching another hole through the wall. So you always want to come prepared.

The best thing to carry with you this holiday season is a survival bag. And in that bag make sure to pack:

-    Digestive enzymes for all that food! (My favorite is Digest Spectrum by Enzymedica - covers everything!)

-    Fiber, unless you enjoy dealing with holiday constipation. (I suggest Kartzinel Health’s Natural Fiber - I love it!)

-    Allergen-friendly food (always make and bring your own!)

-    Allergen-friendly sweets (Unless you want your kids cracked up on sugar with candida, pack some candies that are free of high fructose cory syrup.)

-    Have a quiet place. (When Ethan acts up, we usually like to take him on a walk.)

And guess what? Generation Rescue is running a Kids Halloween Costume Contest  all month long where you can win some of these survival treats! Be sure to enter for your chance to win!

So, remember to pack your own food, bring the fiber and enzymes, and have a place to go when things go awry. And most importantly this season, be thankful, be grateful, appreciate the “family time,” and be sure to keep your egg nog spiked! (So Delicious has some that’s dairy- and egg-free!)

What are you packing in your survival bag? Share it with me at JustPlainZack.com, Facebook.com/justplainzack, or tweet me @JustPlainZack. Or just leave a comment!

Best of luck, guys!




During our trick-or-treating years, we always planned ahead for detecting imminent overstimulation -- figuring out when to retreat before the inevitable meltdown.

The dark streets could be visually disorienting, so having several powerful flashlights was a must to avoid tripping.

Of course costumes always had to be designed to avoid sensory issues like itching, weight, allergies to materials, plastic smells, etc.

And nowadays if trick-or-treaters don't deplete our candy stash, we give it away at work and/or freeze it.


Thanks for these great tips, Zach, and for supporting GR.

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