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Nov 01
Profile photo of Dennise Goldberg

by Dennise Goldberg

Halloween is a fun time of year for kids, but wearing costumes and going trick-or-treating can be uncomfortable for children with sensory issues.  My son has been celebrating Halloween since he was 2 years old and I’ve always tried to make it an enjoyable and fun experience.  Since he has sensory issues, I had to be very careful about what costume I dressed him in because it couldn’t be too constricting, scary or have a mask.  The houses he went to on Halloween night couldn’t look scary and sound too noisy or he wouldn’t go to the door.  Since my son doesn’t like candy, Trick or Treating wasn’t about how much candy he got but rather the experience he got to share with his friends.  He also had Apraxia so early on he could not communicate what was acceptable to him and we did our best with trial and error.  Once he became verbal, he was able to communicate what worked best for him.  I always listened to him because I wanted him to have a fun and memorable experience every year.  My son has a great memory and if he ever has a negative experience, he never forgets it; he’ll bring it up repeatedly and will not try it again!  My main goal was to help him participate and socialize with his friends, and at the same time be as comfortable as possible.

He’s 9 years old now and once again he had a fun Halloween experience with his friends.  This year he dressed up as a skeleton but since he’s not comfortable wearing a mask yet, he wore a cool hat instead and carried a skeleton walking stick.  I know my son really enjoyed himself, but when he says he’s tired and wants to go home, I know he’s had enough.   He’s definitely made tremendous progress with regards to his sensory issues.  Loud noises don’t bother him as much, he actually likes scary costumes and he’ll even eat a Hershey’s Kiss every now and then.  For my son, Halloween isn’t about eating candy; it’s about fun and laughter with friends that he’s known since he was 2 ½ years old.  For me, watching his socialization skills improve and have a great time with his friends every year makes it all worth while.  Although, eating some of his Halloween candy is a nice benefit too!

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2 Responses to “Halloween with Children Who Have Sensory Issues”

  1. Yes!!!!!
    My 2 1/2 year old twins, both on the spectrum, went trick or treating this year for the first time and I was so pleasantly surprised by how much fun they had…not about the candy as they do not eat it but just the joy of the activity. Seeing my children out in the world and interacting with others is a joy I will never forget.

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  2. Glad to hear it Lisa….it gets better and better ever year!!

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