Halloween is an exciting time for many kids! However for some children with sensory processing challenges it can be difficult to participate in all of the activities. Here are some quick tips from our OT to keep in mind this halloween:
Halloween is an exciting time for many kids! However for some children with sensory processing challenges it can be difficult to participate in all of the activities. Here are 3 quick tips from our Pediatric Occupational Therapist to keep in mind this Halloween:
- Costume Choice
Be sure to pick a costume that your child feels comfortable in! Many kids with Sensory Processing difficulties can be sensitive to different textures of fabrics or masks/make-up on their face. Be attentive to your child’s needs – if they want to wear their favourite outfit that makes them feel most comfortable, do that! Another great option to ensure comfort is to find a comfortable onesie that is decorated as an animal. Bonus points – it might even keep them a little warmer on a chilly October evening!
If you plan on trick-or-treating, be aware of the different anxieties a child may feel around this activity. The act of approaching a stranger’s house where there are unexpected (and often scary) decorations, lots of people around, in the dark! That’s a lot of information to process. It can be an anxiety provoking activity for all ages!
Try to front-load the experience with a social story (What is a social story?), or practice going to friends/families houses before-hand so they know what to expect. Many malls also offer trick-or-treating indoors, which may be a more comfortable experience for your child. Other kids enjoy the act of giving out candy to their neighbours when they come to the door, or trick-or-treating at houses they are familiar with (friends/family/classmates).
3. Decorations & Celebrations
As you have probably experienced, many neighbours may decorate their homes and sidewalks with spooky decorations, or even animatronic/robotic decorations that can make noise or move. In addition, it is not uncommon to hear firecrackers or fireworks.
The best way to prepare your child is to front-load the experience by reading social stories, or showing videos of what to expect. You can always do a daytime neighbourhood walk to show the decorations in the daylight where they may not seem as scary to help prepare your child.
Whatever you decide to do this Halloween: Be safe and Have fun! We love seeing all your creative costumes – if you’re posting any fun Halloween Pictures, use the hashtag #WiggleKids for a chance to win a Halloween treat!