Don't Make Halloween A Tricky Time

Family Matters Taking care of the ones who matter most.

Halloween & Special Needs | Birthday Parties | Busy Bag Activities | National PT Month


As Halloween nears, many of us think about the holiday with excitement. We begin to plan for costumes, decorate our homes — and try to avoid eating all of the candy before the big day. However, this holiday can sometimes be difficult for childrenwith special needs and their parents. Here are some tips for parents of children with special needs and any other parent, too. For Parents of Children With Special Needs: 1. Select a costume that combines comfort with fun Many times, costumes have elements that make them difficult for children with sensory sensitivities. Whether it’s itchy fabric, multiple layers or confusion about how to put it on, the list goes on. If your child tends to be sensitive to certain fabrics or textures, it may be a good idea to plan ahead and really look into how he or she can have the coolest costume while making sure he or she can comfortably stay in it for the evening.

routine, especially when it is reviewed ahead of time. Think about how you would like the day to go. If Halloween is on a weekend day, it is important to decide if you want to devote the entire day to holiday festivities or if you want to limit it to a large chunk of the afternoon or evening. With that, plan out time to put on costumes, take photos, visit with friends, go trick-or-treating and — of course — eat safe and pre-monitored candy! Lastly, if your child is more of a visual learner, you may want to make the schedule with pictures so he or she can follow along and really understand how the day should go. 3. Review positive behaviors early, before trick-or-treating Children with special needs often require what we call “pre- teaching” prior to an important event or holiday. That means reviewing expectations before actually engaging in a task. If you want your child to ring the doorbell and say “trick-or-treat!” and “thank you,” you’ll need to practice it at least a couple of days prior.

2. Plan ahead of time Many children with special needs do better with a schedule or

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