Sensory Sensitive Halloween Tips for Children
For a child with sensory processing challenges, Halloween can be a difficult time. From wearing a costume that may feel itchy or scratchy, to the scary sights and sounds, to the crowds they may be around over Halloween. Below are some tips to help make Halloween more enjoyable for the sensory sensitive child.
Have your child wear a costume made of material that feels good to them. This may even just be a soft t-shirt with something ironed onto it. If they do not want to wear a mask or paint on their face, then allow them to choose what they do and do not want to wear on their body.
Allow your child to bring some type of small security toy (small stuffed animal, squishy ball) that they can squeeze if they become overwhelmed.
Allow your child to bring earplugs if they think they will be afraid of the noises around them. Be sure you are with them so they are safe (since they may not be able to hear everything around them) if you put the earplugs in.
Do a trial run of trick or treating if your child is nervous about it. Call a neighbor or family member where you can go and “practice” trick or treating.
Only go to a few houses on Halloween night – try to gauge what you think your child can handle. They may be able to handle a couple of houses at a time, and then may need to go home for a break before going to more houses.
If they are going to be celebrating Halloween at school, find out from the teacher what exactly they will be doing so you can prepare your child for the events and they feel more comfortable.
Lastly, be sure to HAVE FUN! Make the event fun for your child and not stressful. Listen to their needs and help them to feel more comfortable with Halloween. This will also build their confidence in participating in these activities if they can feel successful and not as scared.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!