Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls may soon be making their debut, but that doesn’t mean your child can’t enjoy a not-so-scary Halloween.
For many young children, especially those with special needs, Halloween excitement can turn into total overload causing unnecessary angst and anxiety.
Your child will be introduced to new sights, sounds, tastes and activities during this haunting holiday that may cause him to become overwhelmed. All of those sensory elements combined with the social demands of trick-or-treating can turn a fun night into a frightening and frustrating experience. However, by planning ahead and anticipating some challenges that may arise, you can avoid the “tricks” to ensure your child experiences the “treats.”
Talk about talking
Trick-or-treating gives your child the opportunity to exchange dialogue in a friendly setting. Let him ring the doorbell and practice his greeting over and over again. As you practice, ask him about his costume or his favorite candy to engage him further as a neighbor may do on Halloween night.
Let him glow
Planning to be out after dark? Most “scary” sights are much less concerning during the day but may take on a new look after the sun goes down. Give your son a glow stick or a flashlight to carry to illuminate his path and shed light into the night.
Allow him to give out candy
If donning a costume and hearing new noises will be too much for your son, let him stay home and hand out candy with you by his side. Give him directions about how much candy to give out and what greetings he should use as the costumed children approach for treats.
Trade in the candy
Is your child highly sensitive to sugar and dyes? Does he have food allergies? Let him trade the candy he collects for a special toy. Make sure to have the toy ready to give to him when you offer the exchange.
With positive plans in place, Halloween can be an enjoyable day for you and your child. Have fun!