I wish I could plan something in our community for the special needs kids at Halloween. This holiday can be the toughest of them all for our children. There are numerous issues that can impact a special child's ability to enjoy this day:
- sensory issues (not able to wear a costume)
- non-verbal (can't say trick-or-treat or say it well)
- motor planning issues (can't get their hand into a bowl)
- fine motor skills (can't pick up the piece of candy)
- wheelchair bound (can't even go door to door to participate)
- vision impairment (self explanatory)
Just one of these things can seriously impact a child's enjoyment of this holiday let alone having more than one thing on that list (which is by no means exhaustive).
Liam has several of the issues on that list that prevent him from enjoying Halloween. We try to make the best of it, but there is not a neighborhood anywhere around where he can go from door to door in his wheelchair and participate in trick-or-treating (narrow paths, steps, uneven walkways, etc. not to mention Halloween decor that he will grab and take with him). And everything is so dark he can't see what's going on very well either.
If I were able to plan a Halloween for our kids I would love to have
trick-or-treating take place in the mall. It's bright, open, wheelchair
accessible, and could give many special needs kids a safe place to
trick-or-treat. There could be numerous ways in which to give kids a chance to go 'door to door' inside a mall (have booths set up, tables, refrigerator boxes for houses, etc) and let them experience Halloween in an environment better suited to their needs. How cool would that be for them...
We took Liam to our church's fall festival this year instead of going with his older siblings trick-or-treating. He wasn't having much fun though and had been coughing, getting progressively worse as the evening progressed. By 7:15 he was conked out and running a fever. So much for showing him how much fun Halloween can be by getting gobs of candy and sharing it with his mom...
|He's the Doctor.|
|A witch, the 11th Doctor, the Tardis, zombie, & a hobbit.|
|The Doctor is out.|
Special needs kids truly have unique, different needs that can be misunderstood and overlooked. In the midst of the chaos of trick or treaters, costumes, and candy, are a large minority of kids who just want to participate but can't.