Posted: September 9, 2016
Fall is right around the corner, which means the time-honored holiday of Halloween is fast-approaching. While adults can get in on the fun surrounding Halloween, this is mostly a holiday for kids. Even as your decorations and overall scheduling may feel like the main focuses this year, it’s important to plan ahead for Halloween perhaps more than ever before. With so many choices and options, as well as distractions, revolving around children these days, having a short conversation to discuss options can make a world of a difference once the end of October rolls around.
First, you may have to decide the logistics of what your actual Halloween celebration will entail. If your child’s special needs preclude the traditional door-to-door effort, get out ahead by finding out what Trunk or Treat options may be available in your area. Without knowing what the weather is going to be like, or how crowded the sidewalks may be, this may be a win-win situation for your family. By doing a Trunk or Treat event before Halloween, this can allow you to go out the night of for a little less time than normal and avoid the headaches of crowds and more. For information about Trunk or Treat, including decoration ideas, you can read our post on the topic by clicking here. You can also see some fantastic craft ideas for your home that you can do with your child by clicking here.
Similar to the constraints created by crowds or difficult-to-navigate sidewalks, planning ahead for Halloween costume ideas can be a big help! If your child has a unique idea that perhaps is not available due to constraints created by a wheelchair, arm braces, etc., you can use the time to problem solve ways to make the costume work. You can also use this time to discuss other costume options or pivot to a different idea. If your child’s special needs prevent them from going out, you can use the time between now and Halloween to create a fun atmosphere in your own home and let the visiting trick-or-treaters be a part of your child’s unique party/celebration!
When it comes to candy and treats handed out during Halloween, it can unfortunately be a guessing game for parents where they will throw the item out rather than ‘risk it.’ Use the time between now and Halloween to ask your pediatrician about any candies or foods your child should avoid for Halloween festivities; you can also be sure to check-in on the plans at your child’s school to ensure you make any allergies or non-desirable food are not slipped into the mix during a classroom party. If you are spending Halloween visiting family or friends, you can provide the same heads-up and avoid disappointment, confusion on behalf of your hosts, or making your child feel left out of the menu.
Perhaps the most important reason for planning ahead for Halloween when it comes to your child with Cerebral Palsy is the major focus the holiday has for children. There is so much excitement and noise and color and fun surrounding the day, while standing out as a kid-first celebration, that you will want to make the best memories possible. Finding opportunities early to make this Halloween the best one it can be will be worth every minute you put into it early on. Whether finding the best way to keep your child included, finding out about an inclusive event that helps everyone or getting an early jump on creating something unique for your child, the time now prevents a squeeze on you later or a missed opportunity.
For more information on resources aimed to help children with Cerebral Palsy, contact us today through our online form or by calling (800) 692-4453.