3 Trick-or-Treating Tips for Families with Special Needs Children
Halloween Fun for the Whole Family
Many holidays can be stressful for parents raising a child with special needs; however, there are many ways that you can make Halloween a beloved tradition for any child. If you're looking for ways to spice up this season, try these tips.
Clever Costume Hacks
Finding adaptive Halloween costumes for children with disabilities used to be nearly impossible, but now even major retailers are rolling out inclusive costume lines. Whether you're a DIY parent or prefer store-bought options, here are three tips for clever costuming:
- Use cardboard boxes and paint to create decor for your child's wheelchair—some of our favorites include Mario Kart characters, a city skyline, or even a drum kit.
- Detachable skirts or blankets that are secured only to the front of your child are an easy option for witches, mermaids, and more (and can be bought or made).
- Patches or iron-on images are a simple addition to apparel from your favorite adaptive clothing brands.
After your child's costume is ready to go, you will also want to consider how to keep them safe when going from house to house.
Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe
If you plan to go trick-or-treating as a family, pedestrian safety is a crucial part of the holiday. While not every child will want to spend hours going around the neighborhood, there are several things you can do to protect them from harm, no matter how long the night lasts, including:
- Put reflective stickers on clothing or their wheelchair so that you are more visible to cars.
- Hold your child's hand whenever crossing the street and make eye contact with any drivers.
- Check in with your child throughout the night to see if any masks or face paint obstruct their vision or if they begin having sensory overload.
- If you have more than one child, communicate the importance of the buddy system before you leave the house.
- Stay in your neighborhood where you are familiar with the street names and residents.
It's also important for parents to listen to their children and recognize their signs of discomfort so that you can adjust your holiday plans accordingly.
Alternative Seasonal Activities
Not every child enjoys trick-or-treating, being spooked, or even carving pumpkins, so having a backup plan in mind is always a safe option. While parents are always going to know what's best for their child, here are a few suggestions in case you get stuck:
- Build a fort and invite their friends over for a movie night.
- Make a Halloween-themed meal: all orange foods, ghost-shaped desserts, etc.
- If carving pumpkins grosses your child out, consider painting them instead (add puffy paint for a textural element)!
- Make a sensory tub using dried pumpkin seeds, plastic spiders or skeletons, googly eyes, and black/orange painted beans or small rocks.
However you choose to spend the night, The Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, Inc. wishes you and your family a very happy Halloween!