Halloween will soon be upon us and many excited children will be knocking at our door. We’ll see lots of smiling faces and hear many squeals of delight.
For some children Halloween can be challenging. For these children, their behaviour may indicate that our typical Halloween traditions are too scary, too difficult to manipulate or the treats are too dangerous to eat. Grabbing too many candies can mean, “I can grab with my full hand, but I am too little to grab single items with my fingers”. For children who take a long time it may mean, “I am overwhelmed. There are so many choices”.
You may have seen the following information circulating on social media. It provides a very empathetic perspective and is worth sharing again.
As the children arrive at your door, please consider:
• The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have difficulty with their fine motor skills
• The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues
• The child who does not say, “trick or treat”, may be non-verbal
• The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism
• The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have an allergy or be diabetic
We encourage you to place a teal coloured pumpkin on your doorstep and offer non-food items. Launched in 2014 by the Food Allergy Research & Education, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters. Consider purchasing some novelty items at your local dollar store as an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. There are many options for non-food treats such as: bracelets, rings, glow sticks, balls, stickers, temporary tattoos, bubbles, crayons, pens or pencils. More information about this nationwide initiative, as well as a printable decal that will identify you are offering non-food treats can be found at http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project.
Canadian Living offers Halloween safety tips for parents and kids here. Additional Halloween safety information is available at healthycanadians.gc.ca.
Having a variety of treats, some that you eat and some you play with, will provide a joyful Halloween for all who come to your door. Being patient and allowing children to linger will offer them time to choose what they really want. Working together, being mindful of the above, will ensure a fun, positive experience for all children this Halloween.
To read previously posted Compass ELC Blogs, please click HERE.