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Tips to Help Your Child with Disabilities Have a Fun and Safe Halloween

Halloween is traditionally a day where kids can dress up and have fun with their friends collecting candy and trick-or-treating! However, there may be several challenges that come with Halloween for children with disabilities. Here are a few tips to make sure are on your check list so your child enjoys the occasion while staying happy and safe.

1. Make sure their costumes not only make them happy, but accommodate their needs as well. If your child has a wheelchair, cane or crutches you can simply look up costumes that are wheelchair, cane or crutches friendly. Make sure that they can move freely and that there is no fabric or prop limiting their mobility. If your child has sensory challenges and they may not enjoy the way the fabric of traditional costumes feels, consider using their everyday clothes to make a costume. He or she could be a lumberjack, a pumpkin, a sports fan, cowboy or cowgirl or a farmer! These costumes can be made from the clothes he or she feels comfortable with and wear often and will eliminate any sensory concerns.

2. If your child has a dietary restriction, make sure you are proactive by making yummy treats! Halloween is exciting for children because they get to dress up and they can earn candy by trick-or-treating. If your child with dietary restrictions is planning on going trick-or-treating with his or her friends, consider making your own treats that will accommodate their needs. If you are comfortable with your neighbors or the neighborhood you will be trick-or-treating in, you can give each house one of the treats that they will only give to your child. You could also give them their own ‘special treat’ at each house and inform the homeowner that a piece of candy is not necessary. It is important that your child feels included in the activities and this festive holiday, so you can start by looking up any yummy recipes that will accommodate your child’s needs.

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3. Make sure safety is a priority. We know that you are dedicated to making sure that your child is safe every day, but Halloween can bring a new set of challenges when it comes to safety. Make sure your child is wearing some form of reflective clothing so that if he or she can be seen when it is dark. In addition to the reflective piece of clothing, making sure that they are always by your side or in your sight will eliminate losing them in the crowds that may congregate in the streets or by houses.

4. Know when they have had enough and when it is time to go home. Keep an eye out for the signs that you know signal he or she is unhappy or ready to go home. Halloween can be very overwhelming and overstimulating, so there is no shame in retiring early and finding something fun to do at home, such as playing a family-friendly game or counting the pieces of ‘treats’ they earned!

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Halloween is a fun holiday that gives children memories that will last them a lifetime. Regardless of whether your child has or doesn’t have a disability, they all deserve to have a fun and safe holiday. We hope you find these tips to be helpful and you have a happy and safe Halloween!

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