This is the time of year when everyone wants to know how DJ and I manage all the Halloween mania. As parents know, October can be tough on special needs kids. Uncomfortable costumes, sensory overload and an innate fear of overly excited children can combine to create disaster. So, I thought I’d share a few pictures of how we cope with the madness.
Our biggest rule? We never wear more of a costume than he can tolerate.
Sometimes it’s just better, not to mention cheaper, to make your own costume. DJ loved learning about Native Americans and making his own costume. Prior to that, when his legs were too weak for walking some colored posterboard and creativity turned his wagon into Thomas the Tank Engine.
We practice before the big night. Whether he needs a signal to say the noise has become unbearable or if he just needs to get accustomed to what he’s wearing, practice makes perfect.
When we go to the pumpkin farm we go to a small, less busy one and on an off day. That filters out some of what my sensory boy finds intolerable and helps him branch out to new sensory adventure.
But in the end, if watching is a better option than actual participation, that’s okay.
You won’t get there overnight. Just take baby steps, introduce the easiest new activities first and don’t get frustrated. Our kids may be a little quirky and off-beat but never hopeless.