Halloween Tricks: How to Turn a Sometimes Scary Holiday into a Treat for Your Child With Special Needs … and YOU!

Ah, the holidays.  For many parents who have children with special needs, thinking about the cascade of parties, visitors, photo ops, and food that flows from October 31st – January 1st can be … frightening.  It’s ironic that the first big holiday geared toward children can also be the scariest.  It has all of the regular holiday expectations PLUS a scratchy, poufy, hot, ugly, “not-the-Spiderman-one-I-wanted” costume.  Gulp, costume.

If you’re happily looking forward to this year’s Halloween, then you’ve probably already found some great tricks that work well for your family.  However, if you find yourself in need of some help, check out some things we’ve found around the web that may help you relax and enjoy this fun holiday with your family.

Choosing a costume can be a daunting task for even the most creative parent.  Below are some costume ideas for children with mobility difficulties, fabric sensitivities, allergens, or other challenges:

If you are a parent of a child with juvenile diabetes, Celiac disease, food allergies, or  other dietary restrictions, you may find yourself playing the tough role of candy cop on Halloween.  Or, you may have decided that sugary treats just aren’t good for your child’s health or teeth.  Here are some alternatives to candy that can keep everyone smiling:

Halloween is a scary holiday, but for kids with special needs, fear and anxiety can be compounded by a variety of different triggers.  Crowds, noise, the dark, and high expectations can turn the holiday sour pretty fast.  Here are some tips for parents to help you and your kids enjoy the day:

You may decide to simply have a night at home.  Here are some fun things you can do around the house.

If the idea of watching Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street with your kids leaves you feeling a little queasy, here are some kid-friendly Halloween movie suggestions.  These flicks don’t skimp on the scary, but leave the gore alone: