Costumes for kids with disabilities

enhanced-buzz-wheelchair-icecreamtruckFall can be such an exciting time — apple cider, pumpkin picking, and the favorite holiday for many children: Halloween. Finding just the right Halloween costume can be stressful for parents of children with disabilities, however: certain costumes overload the senses, impede mobility, or are just plain uncomfortable to wear. Here are some tips to help your child enjoy Halloween as much as you do:

  • Let your child’s interests shine: Help your child choose a costume that reflects his/her interests
  • Learn to incorporate your child’s wheelchair into his/her costume: If your child uses a wheelchair, a lot of great and creative ideas can incorporate the chair into their costume.
  • Do a trial run before the big day/night: Some costumes might be unexpectedly uncomfortable or cumbersome, and you’d hate to wait until 5 minutes before you’re about to leave for school or trick-or-treating to find that ouBatman costume in wheelchairt!
  • A week or so before Halloween, take a walk with your child around the house, or the block, to make sure that they’re comfortable, and that they’ll be able to enjoy the costume and move in it easily.
  • Talk to your child about what they might expect. Sometimes Halloween means your child is exposed to things that might frighten him/her : haunted houses, scary costumes or noises. Talk to your child about things they might encounter during trick-or-treating, and practice self-calming skills in case they do get frightened while out that night.
  • Research the sorts of treats your child can eat. Many children with disabilities may have food allergies or sensitivities that limit the treats they’re able to eat.
  • If your child is non-verbal, Halloween can be a great opportunity to work on initiating communication! Program your child’s communication device to say “Trick or treat” or ask his/her teacher to design a picture symbol your child can use as he goes door to door.

Buzzfeed had an especially impressive list of costumes –- complete with pictures –- that work with wheelchairs, and you can find a list of candies that don’t contain the top eight allergens on a blog called Sure Foods Living.

Anything special you’ve done over the years to help a child have an amazing Halloween? Share your ideas with us here in the comments.


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