For many, Halloween is a time of eerie fun. This year, due to COVID-19, some people may have reservations regarding the holidays. However, Halloween can certainly cause sensory and social challenges for many of our loved ones, for any given Halloween due to minimal sensory-friendly options. When a child is noise, crowd, celebration, and new food adverse, unfortunately, Halloween can be terrifying and not in the traditional sense. Can you imagine what impact Halloween can have on an anxious, child with special needs on a day that is supposed to be considered exciting and thrilling? Whatever we imagine, it is probably even more overwhelming than that. We would like to provide some tips to help support your loved one and alleviate some of the sensory overload.
Here are five things parents can do to help ensure the holiday is enjoyable for all!
- Connect with other special needs parents and organize a virtual or socially distanced Halloween party so no door-to-door takes place.
- If your child has sensory challenges and cannot tolerate a party, plan a super special way to decorate your home and perhaps have a sensory-friendly in-home activity.
- Make your kiddos favorite meal and plan to wear costumes for the special dinner!
- Watch a fun, family and sensory-friendly movie, dressed in costumes.
- Grab your snuggly blankets, fuzzy socks, fall sweaters, popcorn balls and apple cider and sit outdoors at night to stargaze and tell age appropriate stories.
Costumes can be interesting, cute and fun, fun, fun! Keep in mind that children with sensory challenges may not tolerate Halloween makeup or a mask. If your child will wear a hat, opt for the hat. Perhaps decorate it together. If your child feels people will not recognize WHO they are trying to be, consider making a “Hello, I am XYZ” and/or a picture/photo of the character. Another option is to adhere the mask to a stick. This allows the kiddo to safely hold the mask. Additionally, you may consider pinning the mask to your child’s shirt.
There you have it! Being intentional and thinking of the little things are the key factors into making this Halloween a boo-tiful one! For more tips, resources and support, please feel contact Moms In Motion. Stay safe!