RARE Share: Making Halloween Fun for Children with Disabilities?

October 18, 2013

Halloween can really bite the big one when your child has mobile, gastrointestinal or other disabilities. Navigating dark neighborhoods, unfamiliar candies, and often fatigue and worry on both your parts can crush the fun of an otherwise happy holiday. So we asked RARE parents: What advice do you have for helping a child with mobile, gastrointestinal, or other disabilities get through Halloween without feeling left out? Give us your best tips and advice!

And you didn’t disappoint!

“We leave our candy on the front porch and the “Halloween witch” takes it and leaves a gift in place of the candy.”

-Jennifer A.

The Great Pumpkin takes the candy at a night and he leaves a gift in the morning. The gift is something my son wants (kind of like asking Santa for one gift). He loves it.

-Jen B.

“Turns out my 8 yr old daughters non-food treat bags have been stolen by pirates this year. We have no choice but to follow the treasure map around town to get them back. It’s a good thing a map mysteriously appeared in my printer last night.”

-Jenn B.

“I’ve seen parents go door to door before Halloween and give the person a specific treat to ‘give back’ to their child. I’m sure that’d only work if your close with the people you’d trick or treat around… But I think it’s a great idea”

-Amanda M.

“We include our son’s wheelchair in the costume. He’s tube fed but he still trick or treats but we get him non-edible trinkets to play with. Sometimes a fun book or something too.”

-Valorie D.

“I talked to family and friends and asked them if they’d be willing to either give my son (5 yrs – EoE & Fpies plus multiple food allergies) either safe candy or hot wheel cars. Everyone said yes.”

-Amy K.

“I bought several different items to hand out other then candy for those that can not have candy. I bought little boxes of tattoos, little bottles of bubbles, finger puppets, stuff like that!”

-Alicia B.

“We play SWITCH WITCH! We take the candy & trade it for a different, special prize!”

-Sasha T.

“I have PKU and when I was a kid I would go trick or treating with my cousins, but when I got home my parents traded me the candies I couldn’t eat (anything with nuts or chocolate) and traded me for candy without protein. It never really seemed too super out of place because my aunt and uncles definitely took a “parental tax” out of their kids’ candy anyway.”

-Anna M.

“Dress them up, make a big deal about driving to things like trunk-or-treats at churches (most have alternative treats) and offer to trade out edibles for dollar amounts that add up to something they want. (My older daughter has allergies to most things found in candies and my younger daughter is fed through her gj and has mobility issues)”

-Amber S.

“We host a Halloween sleepover/party for my son with his best friends. I give them treats that are “spooky” and acceptable for his diet, we watch cheesy “b” horror movies, they dress up and hand out candy. They often hide outside to scare older trick-or-treaters. They find it’s so much more fun to party all night than to spend just a few hours trick-or-treating.”

-Laura P.

“My children participate fully in activities to the best of their abilities. Because they are GI children too, they turn all the candy in at the dentist’s office as part of the cash for candy program. The dentist then sends the candy overseas to our troops. The children then take the money that they have “earned” from the dentist to purchase their tickets to a family movie night complete with snacks and an extended bed time.”


We at Global Genes were so delighted to see your amazing ideas! For children with disabilities–Halloween is a holiday where parents can be true creative rockstars. Have another great idea? Don’t forget to comment!

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