Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Safe and Fun Halloween

Halloween is a favorite for many kids, but our children with special needs might not automatically see the fun in it. Some common problems and behavioral solutions for helping you child with special needs participate in and hopefully learn to love Halloween:
  1. You got the cutest costume, but your child won’t wear it! Desensitize you little one to the costume. You may have to start small by rewarding them for just touching it or even being in the same room as the costume. That’s okay! Work up in baby steps to putting just part of the costume on for just a few seconds and finally increasing the time that your child can tolerate wearing the entire costume. Taking small, manageable steps and rewarding small successes is the key!
  2. Don’t risk it! If your child already seems to be apprehensive about Halloween, avoid any situations that might scare them such as scary games, movies, or haunted houses. Keep Halloween fun and reinforcing until your child becomes comfortable with it, then later you may be able to introduce them to ghosts and goblins. Even if you feel they’re ready, you may want to test their reactions to these things at another time of year so that if they don’t like it, they don’t associate it with this fun time of year.
  3. Trick-or-treat! Rehearse with your child what they should say and do (and not do!) when trick-or-treating. It may even be a good idea to do a trial run the day before with a few familiar neighbors and give them some favorite candies beforehand to give to your child during the practice session. This way you know your child is getting rewarded and you also get an idea of how much they can handle on the big day.
  4. Tip #1 isn’t working out or you don’t have enough time? Try getting creative and making a costume out of your child’s existing clothes. You can get felt from a craft store and make ears, tails and more to attach to an existing outfit, allowing your child to be comfortable, but still participate in the fun!
Use this card as a cute and creative way to help your child join in the Halloween festivities even if he can’t yell, “Trick or treat!” (Download PDF)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the solutions! I want my children to have the best Halloween experience in their life.

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