We all know that there is a certain spooky holiday coming up at the end of the month that many kids anticipate ALL year long! However, what if your child, not only doesn’t look forward to Halloween, but cannot enjoy it’s many perks either??
For kids with sensory-issues, like those associated with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder, Halloween can be stressful. At Microcurrent4Kids, we want everyone to enjoy Halloween, including those with neuro-developmental disorders. Hopefully, with some smart preparation, your child with special needs can enjoy this exciting time of year as well! Take a moment to peruse these suggestions and see if they can help make Halloween a fun event for your whole family:
1. Give your child advance notice! A schedule of events, either written or in pictures, will ensure your child feels calmer and safer by knowing what to expect, especially on days with lots of transitions. Knowing what’s coming next helps everyone feel less anxiety, particularly children.
2. Create a safe word or phrase! Having a code word gives your child a simple exit strategy if he or she begins to feel overwhelmed and needs a break. Then be sure you are ready to follow through with the safe word by removing your child from the situation for a few moments, and discuss some options to cope. OR watch your child closely for signs (facial expressions, behaviors, body language) that signals he or she is feeling over stimulated and have a comforting toy or object on hand.
3. Practice, practice , practice! A child with any sort of sensory sensitivity should practice wearing his or her costume BEFORE an event. This will allow you to find, and get rid of, any itchy tags or scratchy fabric ahead of time and prevent sensory-induced meltdowns. Bring along a comfortable Halloween-themed or other favorite outfit for your child to wear if he or she can no longer tolerate the costume.
4. Tasty can be healthy too! Most likely your child may have food sensitives or allergies that prevent them from eating candy, cupcakes, or other tasty treats offered. Plan ahead and bring alternatives like your child’s favorite snack or goodies that they are able to tolerate. This prevents them from feeling left out, as well as takes the pressure of the party host to provide for everyone’s special diet considerations. If you aren’t sure what to bring for your child, ask them! Most children will be happy to dictate in advance what they will really want.
Halloween shouldn’t have to be a stressful time for any child! We hope these tips help your whole family enjoy this spooky, yet fun-filled time of year.
Want to know more about how Microcurrent technology supports children with special needs reach their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional potential? Contact us today!