Tips for Trick-or-Treating with Special Needs Children

Some parents hesitate when it comes to the topic of trick-or-treating with special needs children. Particularly handicapped or disabled children might feel as though they are missing out on all the fun, however, it is possible to include your son or daughter on the adventures of Halloween night!

Bear in mind that sugar and candy may affect your little one differently, although even non-special needs children should have a limited amount of sugar. If your child has severe behavioral transitions when eating too much candy or sugary snacks, then it will be important to sort through the candy bowl when you return from the trick-or-treating adventure.

These two tips can help your child feel comfortable:

  • Avoid crowds or stick to low-key neighborhoods.
  • Call a few friends or relatives ahead of time and kindly ask them if they can “help” you to make your child’s trick-or-treating night special by giving small party toys or healthier snacks (like pretzels, apples, etc.). The child will still enjoy this and perhaps feel more comfortable going to homes where he or she is familiar.
  • If you child has food allergies, look for houses that participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. This helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as small toys, as an alternative to candy. The Teal Pumpkin Project , created by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.

Halloween Costume ideas for special needs children

Depending on what type of disability your child has, it may be difficult to come up with a costume idea that will ensure the child’s comfort. For example, if your little one must use a wheelchair, then you can embrace this by making the wheelchair part of the costume!

  • A race car driver: Decorate a cardboard box with race car theme, stripes, stickers, etc.
  • A school bus driver: Decorate the outside with a bus and choose a hat for the little boy or girl that gives the impression of driving the bus.

If your child has a prosthetic limb, you can also embrace this by making the supposed handicap part of their strength, which can also enhance their self-esteem! For example, if your child has a prosthetic arm or leg, they could dress up as a pirate. Or, if your child wears eyeglasses, they could dress up as Albert Einstein. By turning these into assets, you are truly helping your child to embrace self-acceptance and turning the trick-or-treating into a fun adventure that you will both remember for the rest of your lives.

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