How to Make Halloween Fun for Special Needs Children

 

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I hope everyone is having a joyous Halloween. I just wanted to take a few minutes to remind everyone that Halloween is a fun holiday that ALL children should be able to enjoy. You can do this by merely recognizing their differences, being patient and accepting and celebrating each special child. A more specific way to do this is to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can go to their website for in-depth information, but the basic premise is to recognize not all children are able to enjoy candy on Halloween due to allergies and to promote inclusion by providing non-food treats. If you want to participate, I’ve provided a free printable at the bottom of this post. Just print it out and place it on your door! Also, you can spray paint a pumpkin teal or pick up a Teal Pumpkin Project paint kit like this one to alert trick-or-treaters that you’re providing non-food treats.

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I will leave you with something I wrote years ago. It began as a Facebook status and has since gone viral with some tweaks here and there from others making it their own. I love that the message has been able to be spread far and wide! Happy Halloween everyone!

Today a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say “trick or treat” or “thank you” might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech. They are thankful in their hearts and minds. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have a life-threatening allergy. The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It’s everyone’s Halloween. Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child.

Free Teal Pumpkin Project printable!

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