Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Plain Confusing

Is Halloween difficult for your child with disabilities?

Halloween has never been one of my favorite celebrations.  I don't like images of the grim reaper or skeletons.  I despise scary things, and have never understood why we celebrate witches, evil spirits and such.  However, with some very clever marketing, it has become a time that most kids look forward to.  But for kids with special needs, it can be a very challenging time.

There are several Internet sources that show you how to make a costume for a child in a wheelchair or a child that uses crutches, but for my kids, just trying to put a costume on was always a challenge.  The sensory aspects were what bothered Ashley.  She never understood putting clothes on top of clothes, or a wig on her head, or a mask on her face.  She never liked makeup and has never eaten candy.  And she certainly never understood walking door to door, holding out a bag, and having strangers put stuff in the bag.  And for a child in a wheelchair, even getting to a neighbor's door was more often than not an impossibility.

Yes, we tried the harvest festivals at churches near us.  But again, many of the activities there - bouncy houses, petting zoos, and carnival games not accessible by a blind child or a child in a wheelchair - meant my children didn't get much out of that activity.

So in recent years, we have just stayed home.  We decorate the house, which the kids do like a lot, and we wait for trick or treaters.  Rather, I wait for trick or treaters.  As much as Ashley didn't understand knocking on neighbor's doors and getting candy, she doesn't understand children knocking on our door for candy.

All in all, Halloween isn't really important to us.  How about you?  What have you done to make the day and activities associated with it accessible to your child with disabilities?


Anonymous said...

Baking cookies and drinking apple cider with family and friends is just as fun. Pinstrest has some great ideas

MichiganMom said...

I have become a Halloween Scrooge, for all the reasons you mention. I have come to hate the excess, especially the gore and ugliness everywhere, it really scares both of my girls. We carve pumpkins, because my daughters enjoy that. And we pass out candy, but it is always right in the middle of our evening cares, which can never be skipped or even put off till later, so it is a challenge to take care of my girls and get to the door for every trick or treater. I thought I was the only person who disliked Halloween.

Ashley's Mom said...

Exactly, Michigan Mom. If I didn't have my oldest son helping to hand out candy, I have no idea how I would balance getting my daughter through her nighttime routine of feeding, bathing, etc.