31 Oct 2022

Five ways to make Halloween enjoyable for children with ADHD

As the days continue to tick down to the scariest night of the year, you may be wondering how you can make Halloween enjoyable for …

As the days continue to tick down to the scariest night of the year, you may be wondering how you can make Halloween enjoyable for your children with ADHD. With the weather getting colder and leaves falling off the trees, your children will be looking forward to eating plenty of sweets and staying up late.

Celebrating Halloween has its own set of challenges for parents who have children with ADHD. Sensory overload and being easily distracted can make it tricky for parents to keep them under control. The last thing you want on Halloween is plenty of chaos, particularly if they’ve consumed too much sweets or stayed up late.

With a bit of planning, you can make Halloween celebrations enjoyable for your children with ADHD, as well as fellow family members too. The Autism Service has listed five ways to make Halloween enjoyable for children with ADHD.

Create an annual trick or treat tradition 

Children with ADHD have many challenges when it comes to celebrating Halloween. One major challenge that they face is sensory overload. A combination of bright colours, lights and loud noises will lead to your child being overstimulated, possibly resulting in them having a meltdown.

It’s a good idea to create a family Halloween tradition, incorporating trick or treating to avoid any trouble from arising. You may decide to plan a trick or treat route around one or two streets of your neighbourhood with your children, visiting a few homes that have more muted Halloween decor. 

Once they’ve collected a plethora of goodies, it’s worth doing an activity that does not involve eating lots of sweets. It may be worth taking your children to dinner at a restaurant so that they don’t constantly think about having sweets. By doing this, it takes their mind off eating lots of sweets they’ve obtained from trick or treating.

Host your own Halloween party

A good idea when it comes to ensuring that your children’s Halloween celebrations go ahead smoothly is to host your own Halloween party at home. If you hold your Halloween celebrations at home, it ensures that their night time routine is as close to normal as possible.

Having a daily routine is essential for children with ADHD so that they feel in control while also reducing the chances of them having a meltdown. Not having a routine can mean that your children can lose control of themselves. We suggest keeping them at home as much as possible to ensure that they sleep as close to their normal bedtime.

If your children want to have a Halloween party with friends, then you could invite them over to your home. By holding your party in an environment that your children feel comfortable in, you can make sure that their routine does not go off track.

Make sure your children have lots of healthy food on Halloween 

While it can be easy to overindulge your children with sweets, it cannot be stressed enough the importance of keeping on top of their diet. Parents should make sure that their children eat plenty of healthy food and avoid sweets a week before the scariest night of the year.

When the day comes for Halloween, it’s essential that they have a healthy breakfast. Omelettes, porridge and yoghurt with fruit are a few things that you may decide to give to your children. It’s also worth making children with ADHD a healthy lunch and dinner so that it reduces the risk of them having a major sugar high and crash.

By keeping on top of their diet, it’ll ensure that the Halloween celebrations go ahead as smoothly as possible.

Outline special rules for your children to follow on Halloween night

Giving your children special rules for Halloween night can be the difference between a great night and a terrible one. Halloween can create many opportunities for children with ADHD to not only get stressed, but also cause trouble too. This can be avoided by parents laying out ground rules for them to follow.

You may decide to lay out each rule for your children for each section of the night so that they have a set itinerary of how their Halloween celebrations will go. For example, with trick or treating, there needs to be rules on making sure that they follow you while they go from house to house, as well as walking on the pavement. 

By establishing ground rules from the get-go, it avoids the risk of your children having meltdowns due to false expectations set by their parents. 

Wear their Halloween costume early

Before Halloween begins on the 31 October, it may be a good idea for your children to test out their costumes once or twice. Once they have decided on a Halloween costume that they enjoy, it’s worth letting them wear it during the weekend so that they have time to break into it.

Halloween costumes can present its own set of challenges for children with ADHD, particularly from a sensory overload point-of-view. This means that if they cannot adjust to their costumes before the big day, they may have trouble keeping their ADHD symptoms under control. 

By allowing your children to wear their Halloween costume early, it’ll give you a good indicator of whether they enjoy their costume or not.

Celebrating Halloween with your children with ADHD can be done, provided that you plan proactively so that your child’s routine is not disrupted during the day. By using the tips we’ve included in this piece, it’ll help ensure that your children and fellow family members can have an unforgettable Halloween.

If your child has early symptoms of ADHD, that’s where The Autism Service can come in and help. Our private ADHD assessment service utilises QbTest to put together a computer-based test to identify relevant signs and symptoms of ADHD. Once your child has completed the test, you’ll receive a full diagnostic assessment from a regulated psychologist.

For any questions about our ADHD assessment service that we offer at The Autism Service, please feel free to contact us today.

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