Halloween is a blast for most kids. All the fun, candy and decorations add up to a great night of spooky scares and yummy snacks for weeks after.
For kids that may have special needs, however, it can be over=whelming, scary and even dangerous. How can you accommodate kids with special needs?
While you may not be able to make your home perfect for every child that has a special need, there are some things you can change in how you help kiddos celebrate the holiday that will not cost anything extra. Heck, you may be known as the best house on the block!
11 Ways To Help Special Needs Children Have a Happy Halloween
1. Skip candy that has the major allergens. No peanuts, peanut butter, wheat/gluten or dairy products. Find a list online for the fun candies you can hand out. This will make any child’s day that may have a life threatening allergy to such foods!
2. Consider doing non-food treats. Many kids have allergies that are not as common and many parents of special needs children try to avoid too much sugar and other things found in treats. Also, you may have children with dietary restrictions such as those that are gluten intolerant or diabetic. Instead, bulk order small toys like toy fangs, stickers, erasers and pencils.
3. While it may be fun to answer the door in a scary mask, this can not only scare toddlers, but also children with special needs. Halloween can be over stimulating enough.
4. Be understanding. Many special needs children are non-verbal or may have limited vocabulary or what seems like bad manners. Don’t scold them if they do not say thank you and understand that they may not talk at all.
5. Don’t touch children or their costumes. I know it is tempting to get close and pat children on the shoulder when they look so cute in their costumes, but many special needs children do not like to be touched. This can frighten them and cause them to have a melt-down.
6. Understand that some kids will not be wearing costumes. Many fabrics can bother children with special needs. Something as simple as tags on clothing, the feel of the fabric or even the seams can be unbearable. Don’t ask them why they are not in a costume.
7. Don’t act different to children with special needs. Treat them just as you would any other child that comes visiting on Halloween.
8. Try to avoid using any strobe lights at all. They can really bother children with Autism Spectrum and cause seizures in children with certain special needs. Also, consider doing toned down decorations as well. This doesn’t mean boring, but not overly scary or lit up either.
9. To help children that may have difficulty, such as those that have limited vision, describe the candy or toys you are handing out.
10. Leave any service animals that accompany children alone. They are working and cannot be distracted.
11. Consider handing out candy or treats at the beginning of your driveway or walkway. This way children in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues can still get to you with ease.