Trick-or-Treating, Fun or Overwhelming?
Trick-or-treating can be a very fun event that kids look forward to but it can also be confusing and overwhelming for some. 364 days a year we tell kids not to go to strangers houses and don't take candy from a stranger. Then Halloween comes around and we tell kids it is ok to break these rules within parameters. This can be very confusing for kids that like rules and consistency.
As if breaking these rules wasn't enough, there is a lot of sensory input to navigate that can be stressful and overwhelming. For example:
1. People are dressed in costumes and some of them are designed to be scary
2. There are unexpected noises! Think about those decorations at people's front doors
that are activated by motion, they spook me!
3. It is dark and hard to see your environment
4. Sometimes people use the strobe light on
their flashlight which can be visually disorienting
Some things you can do to make tick-or-treating fun if you notice that some of these contradictions are hard for your child: 1. Talk about trick-or-treating in advance 2. Read books about trick-or-treating 3. Have a trial trick-or-treating night at your house with all the lights off to give them an idea of what to expect 4. If your child is old enough, map out which houses you will go to 5. Give them the option to stay home and hand out candy or they could look out the window and tell you when a trick-or-treater is coming to your doorstep. 6. Go earlier in the evening to take advantage of any sunlight you can If you and your family already make some changes to the traditional trick-or-treating experience let us know! We'd love to hear what has worked for you. -McKenzie Rushcamp MA CCC-SLP