So many times, there are things or events in the year, that make sensory issues come to the forefront. Halloween is one of those times.
The sights of people in costumes, with masks on or face paint. And do not even get me started on the gory ones.—our children have enough difficulty navigating traditional interactions with people. Let alone trying to take in all this strangeness
The sounds of creepy music or soundtracks of screaming people—if the sound of a door slamming can send some of our children over the edge, how can this music or soundtracks not affect them even greater.
The darkness—yep, the actual trick or treat time. I, myself, would have love to see trick or treat be on a Saturday afternoon. Nice and bright and safe. But, I am so in the minority here. So darkness is something our children will have to content with.
The sensations–THE COSTUME. Made out of material that may not be one they typically wear. It can cause all sorts of feelings in them.
Yes, Halloween, can be a big sensory experience for sure.
Here are some thoughts for those with these wonderful special children.
-UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD- Some children do not mind the costume at all but hate the sounds, some the other way around. Understanding your child is the first and key step to helping them navigate this holiday successfully and have fun.
-BEING FLEXIBLE- Sure, I really wanted Elizabeth to wear the costume we had planned, but on that night, she refused to wear it. So after many tries ( probably not a good thing) we went with a nice cotton shirt with a pumpkin on it. I have learned that being flexible is crucial to life with a child with sensory issues.
TALK- I found telling Elizabeth what we were planning on for that night and what she could expect was so helpful…kind of a halloween social story, We also reviewed what we wanted her to do as well. It does help.
ADVOCATE- Probably not what you thought would appear here, but by this I mean. If someone asks why then cannot talk. Tell them. If someone asks why they look scared, share why. It simply makes it easier and better for all.
My hope is that your Halloween will be fun, safe and a memory made. Elizabeth is 19 years old and with that being said, she has racked up some great ones over the years.
Blessings to all.