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Halloween & Physically Challenged: Tips to Make Trick-or-Treating Not So Scary for Special Needs Child

Published by Shanon Halla

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Every parent wants her child to have traditional childhood experiences. Door-to-door trick or treating is a classic memory for most. It does not have to be different for the child with a physical impairment. Here are some tips to make the evening memorable.

  • Choose a costume carefully. Make sure that the costume will not interfere with walking. It should allow for clear sight of sidewalks, steps, and obstacles in the way. For trick-or-treaters in wheelchairs, make sure that the costume allows the chair to function properly.
  • Plan the trick-or-treat outing. Look ahead for houses that will be accessible. Plan to go with other children for full enjoyment. Make sure the adult that goes is able to handle unexpected situations. Take a cell phone, flashlight, etc.
  • Consider attending a merchants’ Halloween walk. Many small business areas offer trick-or-treating with minimal walking, often during daylight hours. Sometimes this is also true for shopping malls.
  • Go to a Halloween festival or trick-or-treat event. These are often easier for mobility and provide lots of games and treats.
  • Be the treat-giver. Some children prefer to stay close and hand out the candy. Sometimes these kids are a little older; sometimes they are just more comfortable being at home. Remember that the one who answers the door can be in costume as well.
  • Plan a party. This can be an in-home event or something planned by a group (class or organization) that will be open only to invited children.
  • Check the loot. In addition to checking the Halloween haul for tampering, check out which treats are safe for your child to eat. Hard candies may not be the route to go. After you have determined that the Trick-or-Treat goodies are safe, try this Halloween candy game.
  • Plan more Halloween fun. Decorate cookies or cupcakes. Kids love adding the facial features, and it is great vocabulary development as well as fun. Don’t forget to play some Halloween music to set the mood.

Remember that Halloween is a time for children of all ages to be creative and have fun. Following a few safety rules can make this a great celebration for every child regardless of physical challenge.

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