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Parent Blog

Children’s imaginations soar on a night filled with costumes and treats! You can take a few steps to ensure your child with special needs has a magical Halloween.

How to pick a costume

  • Make it fun! Let your child provide input on their favorite characters, colors, and styles.
  • Get creative! If you are making a costume, be aware of your child’s needs. How will the design and materials affect your child’s vision, mobility, or other sensory difficulties?
  • Make it functional. Be aware of any aids you may need to incorporate into the costume. Try making a wheelchair into a princess carriage or pirate ship. Turn a walker into a carnival popcorn stand! Find more costume ideas for wheelchairs and walkers here.
  • Try it out! Let your child give their costume a test run before the big day. In fact, your child can try on the costume multiple times to get more comfortable.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Minimize the unknowns for your child. Prepare them in advance for what they can expect. Take them for a practice walk around the neighborhood so they are familiar with the route you plan to take. Be sure to note any obstacles such as stairs, busy roads, or poorly lit areas along the way. Prepare your child for any loud noises, bright lights, or scary costumes they might encounter. Discuss a plan for what your child should do if they feel overwhelmed. If your child is nonverbal, consider using a card to hand out while trick-or-treating. Check out this free printable here.

Tips for Trick-Or-Treating

  • Safe alternatives: Consider attending community or indoor events. You could even celebrate by making fun treats at home! Check out these kid friendly Halloween recipes.
  • Plan ahead: Pick a familiar, well-lit neighborhood that is likely to have smaller crowds.
  • Take breaks: Find safe places to rest along the way, or plan to split the trick-or-treating into multiple parts and go home for a longer break in between.
Resources for this article include CCSN.