Halloween is a mysterious and magical time for children. It's bursting with imagination, pretend play, and of course candy. However, Halloween can also cause fear and anxiety. If you are the parent of a child with a special need, you know what I mean. You want your child to enjoy Halloween, but you face challenges in keeping them comfortable, happy, and safe. For you, Halloween takes a great deal of planning and ingenuity. Here are some costume ideas to help you get inspired and excited for fright night.

Children With Limited Mobility

Children with crutches, walkers or wheelchairs will need to have Halloween costumes that don't interfere with their ability to move. Costumes should be short enough to avoid being caught in wheels or being tripped over. Get creative and turn your child's wheelchair or crutches into a part of your child's costume. For example, the wheelchair can become a bulldozer with your child as the driver, as pictured, or your child can be a firefighter on top of his walker decorated as the fire truck.

Children With Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders

Children with autism can be extremely sensitive to touch, and clothing seams, tags and certain fabrics can be irritating and uncomfortable, leading to meltdowns and stripping. The fabric used in store-bought Halloween costumes is often stiff and scratchy, and your child may flat out refuse to wear one. Halloween masks present a similar problem, as they are often tight on the head and difficult to see out of and breathe through. Try creating a costume using clothing your child already owns. Sweatpants and sweatshirts are affordable and easy to turn into costumes, such as a cat or a dog.

Children With Feeding Tubes

Easy access is key for parents when it comes to costumes for children with feeding tubes and other medical equipment. Lollapanoplies creates custom Halloween costumes that make it easy to get to any of your child's tubes, whether she has a tracheotomy tube or feeding tube. The owner of the company originally created an owl costume for her daughter with special needs and after receiving great comments, decided to make them available to other families.

With a little creativity, you can help make Halloween fun for your special needs child. If she doesn't want to wear a costume at all, let her know that it is OK. You can even dress her in a shirt that says "Trick-or-Treater in Training" if she doesn't want to miss out on scoring some candy!

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