Halloween Tips for the Sensory-sensitive Child

June 5, 2024

Getting ready to trick-or-treat? It all sounds like lots of fun, but for the sensory child it is likely to include challenges.

Note: You know your child best, so figure out what might cause the most sensory stress so that you can modify the below tips accordingly.

  1. Making a plan together. Allow your child to make choices as to costume, makeup, and what environment(s) he/she would most like to participate in. If planning to go house to house, predetermine the route and the time you will go trick-or-treating. Not too long, and close to home. Make sure you have a quiet, low-stimulation place at hand where he/she can avoid sensory overload and regroup, .If planning to attend a party, familiarize your child with the venue (school, house, etc.).
  2. Dressing Up: It’s a good idea to make children’s costumes with their own clothes that they are already comfortable with and that will not be irritating because of their texture, smell or style. Be creative and have fun diving into the closet; you’ll be surprised how amazing a costume can emerge.
  3. Staying Calm: Teaching your child to read his/her body for alarms or signs of distress, as well as active and passive methods of keeping and regaining control to avoid meltdowns, are always important.
  4. Strong sensory input to the muscles and joints are always calming. Some activities that help with this include:
  5. Wearing compression clothes under a costume can provide soothing, deep pressure (and can provide extra warmth if it’s cold!)    
  6. Sucking gelatin through a straw, chewing on ice, or brushing teeth and gums for oral-motor input
  7. Pushing, carrying, lifting and pulling heavy loads
  8. Having your child tense and release his or her muscles and take deep breaths

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Some pics from a sweet and fun, festive morning we had recently with an adult client of ours carving pumpkins! Happy Halloween!

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