My eleven year old loves Halloween ... I'm sure your kiddo does too! But when you have a child with special needs ... and even if your child is neuro-typical ... if you are like me, then you wrestle with the relationship of FUN and STRESS on this SPOOKTACULAR night!
I want him to have fun ... but I don't want to lose sight of him.
I want him to have fun ... but I don't want him to be overwhelmed or over-stimulated.
I want him to have fun ... but I don't want him to appear rude or indifferent to someone.
Here are a few things our family has embraced to help take the edge off this night ... and it's especially worth noting that we could not have pulled off any of this Halloween fun without the graciousness of our neighbors. So, if you are a neighbor of a special friend, thank you for looking out for our kids!
ID: Wristbands, similar to the ones that you are given at the fair to write your name and phone number onto and any notes about your kiddo that someone should know, are very important. A GPS watch/device that allows you to track his or her is invaluable. I never plan on leaving my son's side ... but sometimes he is faster than I am. It's a huge and blessed piece of mind to be able to track where he is!
COMMUNICATION: If your child cannot speak and/or has a food allergy, consider having him carry a "Happy Halloween" card, (with all of his/her I-Need-You-to-Know information), to present to neighbors who may not know your child. Check out our link to some great cards below.
GLOW STICKS: We love glow sticks, (and wear them on arms, legs, etc!). Yes, many kids are wearing them so they might not help you identify your child in a crowd, BUT they will help a driver see your child if s/he runs out into the street.
PRACTICE: We role-play all kinds of scenarios such as what to say after knocking on the door, what to say after receiving a treat or what to do if he is lost. But also, this is important because if your child has a sensory issue with clothing, you want to know this before it's "show-time"! Social stories that we’ve linked below will come in handy when practicing!
While perusing the internet we found the below resources that you may find helpful!
Free, Printable signs for your child to carry provided by TACA can be
A FABULOUS list of free social stories compiled by www.andnextcomesl.com can be found HERE. They have pumpkin carving social stories, trick or treating social stories, and many more!
Let's keep this conversation going ... how do you keep your kiddo safe on Halloween? Reply and/or tag #huckhalloween on your Instagram/Facebook posts. Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween! –Amy Anderson