Halloween can be a very fun time for children. But for kids with special needs like ADHD, autism and anxiety, it can also be scary and difficult. If your child falls on the autism spectrum, talk to an autism specialist about handling holidays like Halloween since the disorder is so diverse and every child is different. Here are some general tips for helping your special needs child enjoy this holiday:
- For children with ADHD, the biggest obstacles they will face are being especially distracted during school hours and impulsive behaviors like eating all their candy at once. Remind your child to slow down, take deep breaths and enjoy the day. Establish set meal times with healthy food to regulate blood sugar. Choose a costume that is very visible in the dark in case your child decides to dart out into the street unexpectedly.
- For children with anxiety, the scarier Halloween costumes can be downright terrifying. Explain to your young children that the costumes might be scary, but they’re not real. Tell them it’s all part of the fun. Go trick-or-treating with them and go home if it gets to be too much.
- For children with autism, sensory overload can be an issue. They may also not show as much excitement as other kids even if they feel it. Make sure your child’s costume is comfortable and not too snug or scratchy. Talk to his or her child psychiatrist for advice for your particular situation.