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Sensory Considerations for a Happy Halloween

Celebrating holidays with children who have sensory issues and difficulty with changes in routine can be a challenge for many families. Halloween can become a challenge with the various schedules changes, the use of unfamiliar costumes, flashing lights, new sounds, and other overwhelming stimuli. In order to have a happy Halloween, you may need to think through parts of the celebration in a different manner to help your child have a good experience. The following are some helpful tips to make this Halloween easier for both you and your child.


Make your costumes

-Make costumes out of familiar clothing to help limit any sensitives your child may have. By using clothing that your child already wears, you avoid fabrics that may bother your child. Many Halloween costumes are made from fabric that can be scratchy, tight, or uncomfortable. Remember that masks and face paint can cause a change in sensory stimulation and could be an issue for your child. If your child wants to wear a mask or new costume, have them try it on for a few minutes in the store or wear comfortable pajamas underneath the costume.

Trick-or-Treat in a familiar place

-Schedule changes and change in routine can cause meltdowns. While trick or treating is not part of a normal routine, staying in your familiar neighborhood or visiting houses that your child is familiar with can help to ease this change in routine. You can also begin to talk to your child about the upcoming holiday and have them help your make a trick or treating map to follow on Halloween. This way they will be familiar with where they are going and have set plan in mind.

Maintain routines

-An important thing to keep in mind around or on Halloween are bedtimes and bedtime routines. Keeping this the same can make both bedtime and the day after Halloween as successful as every other day. If your community trick or treating time comes close to your child’s bedtime, only go for half of the time or finish up early. You can also look for community trick or treating that is on a weekend earlier in the day, or find a Halloween party for kids in your local community. These parties are usually around lunch time or in the afternoon and can help you to avoid any bedtime or nightly routine changes.

Keep things calm

-While this holiday may only cause a disruption for a few hours in your child schedule, it is important to keep things as routine and calm as possible to limit sensory overload or meltdowns. If your child does have a meltdown, you as a parent should also remain calm and remove the child from the situation as quickly as possible. Make sure to watch your child for any signs of an upcoming meltdown or any triggers that may cause a meltdown.

Talk with your child’s teachers

-School parties can be overwhelming to children that need a steady routine or have trouble with transitions and schedule changes. Make sure your child’s teacher is aware of any triggers that may cause sensory overload so they can help to limit these triggers. You can also ask your child’s teacher or Speech Language Pathologist to create a social story and special Halloween schedule so that your child is prepared for the holiday activities during school.

Find what works for your family

-Every child is different and every child has different triggers to sensory overload. It is important to figure out what works for both your child and your family on holidays. Maybe trick-or-treating is too overwhelming or your child has difficulty with changes in routine. You must remember that you can choose how you celebrate Halloween in the best way for your family. This could be trick-or-treating at relatives’ homes only or watching a Halloween movie at home. Remember the needs of your child and tailor the holiday around what works for them!
Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Stephanie Moore, Speech-Language Pathology Intern

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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!
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