1. Prepare for haloween. Discuss the costume, where you will go, what is expected of the child and what time you will go to the event or return home.
2. Preparation might include roleplay of appropriate behavior when trick or treating or at the haunted house or party activity. Parent can model the behavior that is expected and then reinforce the child with social praise or treats for appropriate behavior.
3. Preparation should include a good night sleep of course the night before and making sure that all medication and vitamins are taken before the outing.
4. During the outing parent should try to stay near the child and advise them of the next activity and what reinforcers are expected for appropriate beahvior. For example, if the child is going to homes the parent or caregiver can coach the child that after they say "trick or treat" they will be receiving a reinforcer of a piece of candy. They should then be advised to say thank-you so that the person knows it was appreciated and will give treats in future years. Also, the parent may set up a reinforcer at home such as cake or ice-cream or other preferred activity such as the iPhone if the child does display all appropriate responses including saying "trick or treat" and "thank -you". Parents or caregivers should provid loads of social praise that is indvidualized to the child and smiles. For example, the parent might say " you were so polite" or " you were such a gentlleman you even said thank-you!".
5. After the treats are collected at the party or trick or treating they may be used in the future as reinforcers for months later. Parents can give the child a certain amount immediately and store the remainder in a special halloween rienforcement bag for later use as a positive reinforcer. This also assure that the child does not eat to much suger that week. Since many children are on special diets or large amounts of suger seem to effect there behavior in the past.