Tonight’s the night! It’s our 10th Annual Casino Night and all proceeds ($30 per ticket) go directly to Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania. In honor of our event, our blogs this week have been dedicated to the cause that Easter Seals supports – helping those with disabilities. However, just because an individual may have a disability, that shouldn’t stop them from enjoying every holiday just as everyone else does – and that includes Halloween! The trick-or-treating tradition that occurs on Halloween night might be overwhelming for those with disabilities and their families. But don’t worry – this blog is here to help you by giving you tips on what you can do so that your child with a disability can experience the fun of Halloween along with everyone else.
The Easter Seals website suggests preparing not only the child with disabilities, but also any friends or family that may be accompanying you on your trick-or-treating adventure. It’s important to explain to the other kids you might be going with that everyone will need to help in showing your child how to trick-or-treat and have patience during the night. The website also suggests using “social narratives, visuals, videos, and photos” to help prepare your child. It’s important to explain to them what will be happening from beginning to end. Remember that weather is always unpredictable, especially in Pittsburgh, so make sure to dress for all occasions. Also try to remember to take pictures if you can to prepare them for next year.
If you know where you will be going you might want to do a practice run of the route or stop by the event to prepare for all possible outcomes. Don’t forget to prep your child on the right words to use such as “trick-or-treat” when asking for the candy and “thank you” when receiving it. Some other terms you might want to coach them on remembering including “I need help” in case somebody has a tough walkway, “I need to go to the bathroom”, “yes”, and “no”.
By control we don’t mean to imply that you should be controlling your child, but controlling the environment. If you think taking your child out to different houses might be too much for them, Easter Seals suggests inviting friends and family over to your home and having them go from room to room. This is a safe way for your child to still participate but have more control at the same time.
- Have Fun!
Finally, it’s important to remember to just have fun! Yes trick-or-treating with a child that has a disability can be stressful, but it should also be a fun experience for them! If you find that they are disinterested you might want to consider brining an activity for them to do in-between homes. A change of cloths to make them more comfortable throughout the night might also be a good idea.
We are very excited for our 10th Annual Casino Night and hope these blogs encourage you even more to attend and donate to this great cause. We look forward to seeing you there!
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Until Next Time,