Halloween Strategies

Managing Allergies

Houses that have teal pumpkins in the front yard signify that the house is nut-free or is giving away nut-free treats. Spread the word to your friends and family to include a nut-free option and let us continue to make teal pumpkins part of our DMV community!

Managing Fear

Halloween is supposed to be scary, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming or prevent a child from participating. One way to manage your child’s fear around Halloween is to give them advance preparation. Consider trick-or-treating during the daylight hours at local businesses. In addition, Under Armour and compression shirts can help provide deep input into the body which can be calming. Consider having your child wear compression clothing under the costume to give them the extra pressure input they need.

Some children are fearful of interacting with unfamiliar adults and/or struggle to answer direct questions in social situations.

Practice before Halloween the “script” and continuously model the expectations and coach them through it! For example: “We will walk up to the door and we will stay to the side of the sidewalk. I can hold your hand, and then we can open our treat bags. I will say “trick-or-treat.”

Coach them through what to say when a stranger compliments them: “I like your costume!” or when a stranger asks them what they are: “What are you supposed to be?”. Practicing these questions and answers will help your child feel more at ease when walking through the neighborhood with family and friends.

Another option is to bring your child to a Halloween store to do a practice run. Let your child explore the different textures, sights, and sounds without the pressure or rush of buying anything. This may help to prepare them for what is to come during the Halloween season. Consider running your Halloween route in the day time as well so that your child has a better grasp on how long the route is and how long it may take.

Managing Inaccessibility

Some sidewalks and homes in the DMV are not ADA compliant. Occasionally, some neighbors will sit out on the stoop and accommodate, which may be a great option for a while. Consider asking nearby apartment buildings if their residents participate in Halloween. Large apartment buildings will occasionally ask for a participant list, and can give you a list of doors that are options.