There really is some comfort in seeing some “normal” things. One of which is that it is only Halloween but the Christmas items have been in the stores for a while.

Right along side the Halloween candy…yep. Normal.

As I look at the big bags of Halloween candy, I can’t help but wonder how much of it will find its way into the bags of trick or treaters this very unusual year.

I know in our area, we are actually having trick or treat hours. This news caused a great deal of discussion and emotions on both sides of the fence.

From:

YES! We should let the kids have their fun, after all it has been such a tough time for them

To:

No! It is not safe to run the risk of exposing everyone. Let’s cancel it.

No matter where your feelings fall, Halloween is here. And no matter where your feelings fall, BECAUSE Halloween is here this year, it is requiring a conversation with your child. But if your child has special needs, in my opinion, they will need more…they will benefit from having the concepts of Halloween 2020 communicated to them. Here are 3 simple tips for navigating Halloween during a pandemic:

What does it look like this year?

Will they be going house to house in your neighborhood? Will you be taking them at all? Explaining the virus AGAIN to your children and why it is changing this fun holiday will be helpful. Offering something in replacement for it may soften the impact. I know a friend who is planning a night of movies and treats for her children instead of heading out. Not the same for sure, but then again, really nothing is the same in 2020!

What the school will do this year?

I fully get that many are remote learners due to the virus but for those in the school system, will the school encourage dressing up? Will they have a parade?, or will they do very little?

If your child has special needs and attends school, talking through these things will really help them prepare as best they can for the changes. I know with Elizabeth, my daughter with special needs, telling her ahead of time about the parade helped her SPD (Sensory processing disorder) stay in check.

Information can help our special needs children prepare better. So it helps to learn what your school is doing and share as best as you think for your child.

Find a replacement

In our town, there are many other options to trick or treating. There are trunk or treat events scheduled and even drive through trunk or treats (I am not sure how that works myself, but it is an option)!

Or like I mentioned prior, plan a fun, special night if everything we usually do is not in your comfort level.

The big thing, I think is to be honest with your child about the why of your decision. To be honest about what they need to do to be safe for whatever thing you plan or chose to do.

Communicating in the manner that is best for your children, be them special needs or neurotypical, will help them understand the latest twist and turn of life in 2020.

I wish everyone a peaceful week. And again, ask everyone to wear a mask. I do for my mom and others who could get really ill.

Stay safe.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself.