Trick or Treat? That’s the Question!

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Trick or Treat? That’s the Question!

Right out of the gate I think everyone should be comfortable to claim “special needs” when it relates to Halloween! It’s certainly not a “one size fits all” holiday! As our kids were growing up, we really lacked a specific direction we felt we needed to take with Halloween so, we did something different each October 31st! Not wanting to hop on the bandwagon celebrating this holiday that so many love, we decided early in our parenting not to focus on it and to take it year by year. Our oldest (son) with special needs wouldn’t have been able to navigate the darkness of night and pavement, and our girls that followed after him sometimes wanted to participate and sometimes not! So each fall season, we would have a family meeting to decide what we all wanted to do for Halloween. Here are a few of the things we came up with – and it was never a ‘parental only’ decision and it was OK if we had more than one thing to do: 1-    Going out to dinner at a fun restaurant 2-    Going to a movie or watching one at home 3-    Having someone (friends) over for dinner or just for fun 4-    Playing table games 5-    Having the grandparents over for the evening 6-    Going house to house (with parents or later with friends only) 7-    Passing out candy, seeing the costumes, but staying in 8-    Going to a church related outing dressing as biblical “characters” What seemed to work for us was changing it up year to year. Sometimes the girls wanted to be out with friends and sometimes they and their friends wanted to hang out at our house or theirs. Even in the school setting….there were things the girls didn’t like (ex.: scary storied being read by a librarian – one was more affected by this than the other) and we’d prepare them how to ask to “opt out” of those situations, to which was granted. We always shared with them different scenarios and what they could do if they weren’t comfortable, didn’t want to listen, chose not to take part, etc. Each year varied, so as parents, we just supported their decisions and helped them learn how to navigate their thinking and decisions. The one thing I know for sure, is that whether our kids are typically developing or special needs, there are times that they are not comfortable doing certain things. Our son with special needs was always happy to stay home and seemed to enjoy handing out candy with us. While he likes to dress up as his favorite super hero (even at age 3710, it’s not out on a dark Halloween night.) The Ferrini’s and extended family recently at a Star Wars event What might work for you and your family with the dynamics of your family? Perhaps a family meeting would allow you to encounter different lines of thinking and different solutions for your Halloween! Have fun no matter what you all choose!

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