skip to Main Content

5 Halloween Tips for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder

For most of us, Halloween means dressing up, trick-or-treating, and parties. We might stress a little over getting the costumes our kids are asking to have, getting to the school party on time, trick or treating for the best candy, and braving the weather for trick-or-treating. It’s all worth it though when we get to experience our kids’ excitement. But for the children who have any kind of sensory processing disorder, Halloween can mean distress, anxiety, and meltdowns. Flashing strobe lights, uncomfortable costumes, unfamiliar homes and people, fog machines, or even loud spooky music and sounds can be very stressful for children with sensory processing disorder. Some of these can be nerve-wracking for other children too.

Halloween doesn’t have to be all stress and no fun for children with sensory processing disorder. Whether you have a sensory sensitive child or not, here are some tips to a fun and enjoyable Halloween.

1. Costumes

Costumes are huge to consider when it comes to keeping sensory kids comfortable and calm on Halloween. Most pre-made costumes are made with itchy fabrics and aren’t always sewn straight, creating uncomfortable seams and over-all discomfort. For some kids, it’s enough to add some soft (and preferably warm) clothing underneath. For others, it may help to create costumes out of clothes or fabrics you know they are already comfortable with. As strange as it may seem, costumes with a little weight behind them can also help calm your sensory child and help them feel secure (think in terms of a weighted blanket). It is also beneficial to avoid things like make up, face paint, and masks, because they can be irritating to the skin and eyes.

2. Keep to routes and houses your child is familiar with

Even walk or drive the route you plan to take ahead of time so they know what to expect. Also familiarize them with their costume ahead of time. If they’ve had a chance to wear it for a while, they can point out any adjustments that need to be made ahead of time and you don’t have to worry about cutting the night short because of wardrobe issues.

3. Help your child know what to expect

Knowing what to expect is huge for helping sensory kids avoid meltdowns. Just like setting the route, it’s good to plan with your child when they want to start and stop celebrating and to determine behavior expectations. With setting time guidelines, it is good to give them a way to keep track of the time or give them substantial warnings before its time to wrap things up. A visual timer or picture schedule may be helpful.

4. Follow your child’s cues

Sometimes your child will let you know they’ve had enough, but many times they are not going to realize they’ve exceeded their limits until you are facing a tantrum or meltdown. Set up a system. For example, use code words or just have an understanding that you can let the other know that it is time to wrap things up ahead of schedule.

5. Start your own traditions

Halloween movie or book marathons with Halloween themed healthy snacks, sensory bags, and bottles are activities your child can look forward to. Carving pumpkins and getting a feel for their guts and seeds can be messy fun. You can also try making scented and colorful play dough, have a monster hunt, or create a sensory bag with your pumpkin guts.
Hope these Halloween tips allow your sensory child to have a spooky, fun, and safe day!

Back To Top

Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
Read More