8 tips to help your disabled child have a calmer Halloween and Bonfire Night

2 mins read

Friday 27 October 2023

Halloween and Bonfire Night are just around the corner – and we know what a difficult time these annual events can be for some children with additional needs, especially those with autism and sensory processing issues.

We’ve gathered together some great tips to help make these events less overwhelming for your child.

  • Bring Halloween indoors this year! For a calmer and more familiar trick or treat experience, family members can get dressed up and hide in different rooms. This way your child will have plenty of doors to knock on for treats.
  • Use social stories and play YouTube videos of fireworks at gradually louder volumes to slowly help your child what to expect.
  • Ear defenders like these in our Fledglings shop block out loud firework noises or visiting trick or treaters and come in a range of colours. Visit our Fledglings shop for some other great product ideas to help make Halloween and Bonfire Night easier.
  • Practise Halloween with your children first. A daylight “trial run” may help your child get familiarised with the trick-or-treat route ahead of time and feel more confident about what to expect on the day. It’s also a good opportunity to make sure their costume is comfortable (and itch-free!)
  • We all know Halloween and Bonfire Night can get pretty noisy and scary, so make sure you have an ‘escape plan’ in place so that children with sensory processing issues have somewhere they can go and feel safe. For example, you could set up a dark sensory den set up at home and filled with fun toys!
  • For a fun sensory-friendly costume idea they can still use after Halloween, you could turn a body sock into a spooky devil or dragon.
  • Don’t let your neighbours ruin your child’s Halloween! Tell them in advance about any special requests: no strobe lights, loud noises, face covers.
  • If you’re not taking part in Halloween this year, put up large signs on your door. Even with no lit pumpkin on your doorstep, trick-or-treaters could still come knocking.