It’s here… Halloween! I hope you all enjoy the day with your family no matter what your plans are. If you are taking your child with special needs trick-or-treating for the very first time you are probably a bit nervous. But don’t be. As long as you are prepared and up for the challenge, you can make Halloween a fun and happy day for your child.
The recent Halloween episode of the NBC show Parenthood celebrated Halloween and diversity by focusing on one family’s hopes, fears and expectations for a boy with Asperger’s syndrome. Though he had never wanted to trick-or-treat before, the boy became interested. This terrified his anxious mother, but she went along with it while taking precautions to help her child. She went around the neighborhood handing out glow sticks to replace candles in jack-o-lanterns since her son has a fear of fire and candles are a trigger. She stayed with her son, but allowed him to go up to a house alone when he asked her if he could. She protected him, while giving him his freedom and allowing him the opportunity to be normal. We should all follow along.
Whether your child has allergies, a strict diet to follow, or autism, Halloween can be fun. The trick is to be open-minded and creative. Provide neighbors with appropriate snacks, make a Halloween costume that is comfortable and accessible, be aware of triggers that my upset your child, or even stay home and plan a fun evening for your family. Whatever you do, don’t exclude your child from the fun that can be had on Halloween. Even just watching a nice movie together is a great way to celebrate.
So Happy Halloween, everyone. Maggie will be a pink cat filling up her basket with enough candy to deplete our stock of digestive enzymes! She’s one of the lucky ones on Halloween… a high fat and high calorie diet is exactly what she needs to stay healthy.