Halloween is a fun time. It's also noisy, hectic, and full of diversions. These are difficulties for children who battle with focus and self-control, such as those with ADHD. You may, however, limit difficulties without restricting your child's enjoyment. Here are some frequent Halloween obstacles for children with ADHD, as well as suggestions about how to assist them.
1. Following safety precautions
When children fail to pay attention or act without thinking, they increase the risks. When it comes to trick-or-treating, many children rush from door to house. However, children with ADHD are more prone to flee without looking both directions. Alternatively, they may become isolated from the group.
What you can do: Before your child leaves the house, go over street safety regulations with him or her at least once. Talk about stranger safety as well. You can even plan your trip ahead of time.
If your child is older, consider only allowing him or her to go out in a small group. This can help to reduce distractions and increase your child's likelihood of staying with the group.
2. Overindulging in candy
Halloween sweets and other treats can be found at classroom celebrations, community activities, playdates, and trick-or-treating. When there's so much nice stuff around, many kids struggle to keep it together. However, rejecting temptation is extremely difficult for impulsive children.
Make a "candy calendar." Ask your child how much seems appropriate to eat at parties, after trick-or-treating, and in the days after Halloween. Once you've determined, assist your child in filling up a calendar with the agreed-upon numbers. Children who are active in decision making are more likely to follow through.
3. Winding down before nighttime
Children with ADHD may have difficulty transitioning from active to sleep mode. And it can be especially difficult to unwind after Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. Furthermore, children with ADHD frequently struggle with emotional management. They may become furious or have a tantrum if Halloween is over.
What you can do: Allow plenty of time between trick-or-treating and bedtime. Connect with your child a day or two before Halloween to plan a special sleep ritual only for that night. Maybe you'll read a spooky (but not too scary) book or watch a Halloween movie.
You could also delay bedtime. Just make sure to leave the same amount of time as usual for
your youngster to get ready for bed.
4. Shifting gears
Halloween is a hectic day with many transitions. Kids rush from schooling to a class party, then home to trick-or-treat. This can be difficult for children with ADHD, who frequently have difficulty switching gears and determining how to adapt their behaviour dependent on the task.
What you can do: Talk to the instructor about methods to make transitions easier for your child at school. Perhaps the teacher might offer a five-minute warning before beginning a new task. Alternatively, your youngster could be set a task to complete at the end of the celebration. This can help children refocus and slow down before returning home.
5. Dealing with sensory overload
Costumes can be itchy and uncomfortable. Decorations such as faux cobwebs might provide strange sensations. And sudden loud noises might be stressful. On Halloween, sensory input can be overwhelming, affecting many children with ADHD. The ultimate outcome could be a meltdown rather than Halloween fun.
What you can do: Try on the costume at home once or twice before the big day. Wearing regular clothes underneath may help. If not, consider a fun blouse or sweater with a Halloween motif.
If noise and lighting are an issue, you may want to forego neighbourhood trick-or-treating. Malls, recreation centres, and parks may provide a more low-key trick-or-treating experience. You might also start new Halloween traditions, such as inviting a few friends over for a costume contest.