Halloween Challenges

Earlier in the week, I talked about the real monsters of Halloween, and the horrors our medically fragile kids endure year round. Today, before all the little goblins and gremlins come to your door, I urge you to think about a few things.

Some of our kids DO use walkers or wheelchairs, and yes, despite the fact that there are some really creative and awesome parents out there that make this day “cool” day for those devices, people can still recognize their disability. This is one of the great days that they may be gushed over and made to feel really special because of their amazing costume. Kudos to everyone who helps them feel great by recognizing them today.

wc1 wc2walker


But many of our kids have less visible handicaps. JA kids dont always look sick, and neither do a lot of other kids with DIFFERENT disabilities. I came across this post, from a mom whose child has Cerebral Palsy. Many of the frustrations she talks about, are the same as those our JA kids face. (Read her entire post here)

As we get ready for Halloween I have to tell you that I am out of my skin excited!! You see, as a mom of a kid with Cerebral Palsy Halloween usually totally sucks!! The drive ways are too long, and not always paved; there are too many stairs; spaces between houses is too far apart; nothing is well lit so it can be a hazard. I inevitably end up carrying Rachel because she gets tired. Friends always mean well and invite us along but it is still so freaking hard. Kids are excited on Halloween they want to run door to door to collect their loot. So we are usually trick or treating long after our friends have started their sort and trade. Coming in a half an hour later and exhausted because it takes Rachel that much longer and that much more energy to trick or treat. Last year because Westford had Halloween delayed we went a 2nd time and while the bigger kids did their own thing Lilah stayed back and trick or treated with Rachel. Where the driveways were too big or when there were too many stairs she hooked Rachel up and got loot for both of them. (love that kid)  Another part I hate about Halloween is the people that make unsolicited comments like: wow are you lucky that your mom is giving you a piggy back or you’re too big for the carriage. I’ll be honest I got to the point I was rude and said, she is disabled and left it at that. Sometimes it is exhausting trying to make someone else feel better about the fact my child has a disability and they are a total jack@#$.

JA kids do deal with everything that Jen mentioned here, but they may also have to face the “you-don’t-really-need-candy-now, do you?” comments, if they are bloated and moon-faced from medications like prednisone, that they need to take. You can read about a JA mom’s account of that very situation here.

Reading Jen’s blog and thinking of my kids, made me think about a few more things. Look at all that the CP and JA moms have in common. What about all the other disabilities?  Do you have any non-food treats (like vampire teeth or spider rings) for kids that have severe food allergies or other dietary restrictions (like kids with Diabetes, or ADHD)?  Will you be the one to say “MANNERS!” to the child who grabs a handful of candy, but unbeknownst to you, is autistic? Or will you be the house that we, the parents of children with special needs can breathe a sigh of relief when you kindly answer the door, and have treats we can enjoy, with just a sweet comment about our child’s costume?

If you are a parent of a “normal” kid, I don’t blame you if you never thought of these things, but now you know. You CAN make a difference. Please help make this fun childhood holiday a great memory for EVERY kid who knocks on your door, and remember, just as all those kids in costume are pretending to be something else, a closer inspection might prove things aren’t always as they seem….

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  1. Great post!!! This is something that all parents should read and realize that there are some of us with special needs children, that don’t look like they have special needs. I am going to share this and also try to remember next October to share it again so that people might think before shopping for all that candy 🙂

    Great Job, Kim!!!


  1. […] for the upcoming Arthritis Foundation event, The Jingle Bell Run. Perhaps reading posts like Halloween Challenges will be shared enough that next Halloween will be a happier holiday for kids with special needs. […]

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