St. Louis, MO - With Halloween just around the corner, parents and children across the nation are prepping. But parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities have additional things to consider when preparing for this spooky day.
“Adequately preparing for a holiday like Halloween before the day arrives can give parents of children with autism a real sense of normalcy,” Jeanne Marshall, vice president of services and CPO for Easterseals Midwest, said. “It can help children feel comfortable with the uniqueness of the day, rather than feeling overwhelmed by changes in routine.”
With these helpful hints, you can make sure there’s nothing scary about trick-or-treating.
Help familiarize your child with what trick-or-treating may be like by practicing with a neighbor or at your own house. Rehearse going up to a door, knocking or ringing the doorbell, and asking for candy in whatever way your child can.
Set your trick-or-treating route in advance. Keep your route close to home, in case you need to get back quickly. Avoid houses that may be too scary, gory, have excessive or flashing lights, or decorations that may make your child uncomfortable.
Walk your route a few days before Halloween to help familiarize your child with it.
Encourage your child to try his or her costume in advance. If something is uncomfortable, make modifications.
Before trick-or-treating, discuss and set rules on how much candy your child can eat and when.
Let your child stop when they want to, even if it’s only a house or two in. Take a break or head home if your child wants to.
Make sure your child has identifying information on them, such as a tag, card, or bracelet in case you get separated.
Put something on your child such as a glow stick necklace to help spot him or her if your neighborhood gets crowded with trick-or-treaters.
Don’t underestimate your neighbors! Talk to them beforehand and explain the needs of your child.
Remember, it’s OK to stay at home. Create your own Halloween traditions that fit your family’s needs, like a special movie night, baking Halloween-themed goodies, or even passing out candy.
Want to make sure your child has a sensory-friendly Halloween? Join Easterseals Midwest for Sensory Friendly Trick or Treating October 30. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 150 individuals. Register at bit.ly/esmwHalloween2019.
About Easterseals Midwest | Easterseals Midwest is a nonprofit organization changing the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day. The organization employs 1,800 employees delivering services to more than 5,000 individuals statewide through four divisions: Autism Services, Community Living Services, Early Childhood Services, and Employment Services.