1. Preparing your child for Halloween and what to expect is so important. This will reduce anxiety. Visual calendars are a great tool to prepare them.
2. Their costumes should be comfortable and not scary. Let them choose the costume they will be wearing. Less is best. Most children with SPD don't like masks or bulky costumes. Never force your child to wear the costume.
3. Most children with SPD don't like face painting. Try experimenting weeks before Halloween for the best experience. Creating costumes from familiar clothing may work best.
4. Search for local children's Halloween events if your child doesn't want to go out. If they do want to go out, if possible, avoid crowded areas, houses and crowds in general. Trick or Treating earlier in the evening is best, before it gets dark.
5. Bring a friend along to keep your child company for extra support and encouragement. When your child is tired or doesn't want to do it anymore, end the evening.
6. Tell your child the basic rules of Halloween, such as no treats until you have searched the Halloween bag (allergies & diet restrictions). Let others know of any allergies when receiving treats for your child.
7. Most children with Sensory Processing Disorder don't like carving pumpkins or the way it feels. Don't pressure them. Many children may enjoy painting or drawing on them instead. There's also children who do like carving pumpkins and squishing the guts... This can be a great sensory activity!
8. Remember a regular day can be overwhelming for a child with Sensory Processing Disorder. Halloween can easily cause sensory overload which could result in a meltdown. Take sensory breaks. If you are at a Halloween party, take breaks. (sensory space)
9. Complete your child's sensory diet before trick-or-treating and before they go to bed. (brushing, joint compressions, heavy work, swinging and trampoline)
10. If your child doesn't want to go out for Halloween, that's okay too! Halloween is not just about trick or treating. Kids might love to be the one who hands out treats at the door.