Halloween is another one of those holidays that requires special planning when it comes to having a kiddo with SPD. Technically, I can’t think of many holidays that don’t require some kind of planning on my part…maybe Veteran’s Day? (Actually, that is a NO, because my father served in Vietnam and my boys are concerned that we honor him appropriately, so I don’t even get to take that holiday off. Ugh.)
All of that aside, my kids love Halloween. Which has made me start to like it too. : )
I don’t think it is just the candy (especially since we don’t eat it, but I’ll get to that in a minute), I think it is being up past bedtime, running around with their friends in the dark while pretending to be, this year, Police Officers – all three of them formed their own SWAT Team.
This guide is aimed at those of us who actually want to have a Halloween, similar (not exactly) to the one we grew up loving. There are obviously better ways to handle sensory overload if your child can’t do this (example being go to a friend’s house so out of the way no one will ring their doorbell).
That said, here is what we do to make sure that Halloween is a success for everyone.
My daughter recently turned 7, but I still remember my grandmother looking into her eyes when she was just a newborn and declaring her an old soul. She says things sometimes that just awe me or crack me up, things beyond her years. In other ways, though, she is a typical child. She likes attention from her parents, would rather play than do chores, and sometimes believes she knows it all. She has been known to get upset when she does not get her way. Here’s the thing, though…sometimes she gets incredibly upset when she doesn’t get her way about seemingly small things. This is where I imagine it has more to do with SPD or things being out of her control rather than a “spoiled” child acting out.
For example, brushing her teeth and showering cause such turmoil in our home. The tooth brushing is actually getting quite a bit better and will hopefully go by the wayside like her hand washing issues of the past, but showering remains an obstacle. She loves the water and swimming, which leads me to believe that it is not related to the feeling of water. Is it a control thing? She brushes her teeth in the morning before school without issue, but often of it is on the weekends, or especially bedtime, that brings on a meltdown.
In part, I think sometimes the struggle is related to bedtime, as she showers at night and has to brush again before bed. Have others found that when you begin to engage in activities that signal bedtime, it triggers a strong reaction or meltdown in your child? Bedtime has always been an issue for us. Darling is prone to anxiety, and bedtime certainly brings it out more, being alone in a room at night and all. Unless one of us lay with her for a while, which we do only on occasion, she is not a fan of bedtime. She has a night light, her favorite blanket and bear bear, we spend together before bed and read stories in her room. I also check on her after I tuck her in so that she knows I am still around. I am not sure what else to do to help her handle bedtime more successfully and lessen the instance of these strong and defiant reactions. …continue reading