A Parent’s Guide to a Less Stressful Halloween Experience

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For some families of children with disabilities and developmental needs, the struggle with “typical” childhood experiences can be the most difficult to navigate.

While we all want our children to be able to have these experiences, we also need to balance that with the understanding that it may not be important to them. Quite often, as parents, we assume that our children want these experiences because we ourselves have had them and that may not be the case.

Start Here: Ask your child if they would like to go Trick or treating on Halloween

If they answer yes, here are some tips and tricks for a successful inclusive Halloween experience here.

If they answer no, there is a list of alternative Halloween ideas here or you can watch CTN’s Halloween videos here.

If you are unsure of whether your child would like to participate due to communication or cognitive challenges, think about your child’s individual personality, strengths and needs. Some questions to consider are…

  • Does my child enjoy wearing costumes?
  • Does my child enjoy Halloween treats?
  • Does my child have sensory differences that may get in the way of their enjoyment? (e.g., busy street, scared of darkness, scary costumes and masks)
  • Will my child be able to access the houses in our neighbourhood?
  • How does my child feel about meeting new people?
And now for the big one…
  • Is this important to me, or to my child?

Whether it’s Halloween, a play date or a recreational activity, parents and caregivers need to be mindful of our child’s wants, needs and wishes. It’s ok to let go of traditional expectations to make room for fun, new memories and experiences that are meaningful to your child and your family.

Guest writer: Niki Huxtable, CTN Family Mentor Program Coach and Mama who no longer stresses over Halloween.