Kids love picking out Halloween costumes, but finding good ones for children with disabilities can be challenging. For wheelchair users, it’s important to choose a costume that is easy to take on and off and won’t get caught in the wheels. Some children may require costumes with hidden openings to accommodate feeding tubes or other medical equipment. Kids with sensory processing issues are often bothered by certain types of fabric and clothing elements such as tags and seams.
It’s often hard enough to find sensory-friendly and adaptive clothing for daily wear; costume selection may be even more limited. That’s why we’ve compiled a short list of some of the great options out there! The following are a few fun and accessible costumes that are widely available this year:
A couple of years after introducing a popular line of adaptive clothing for kids, Target has recently expanded their line of adaptive Halloween costumes with extended sizing. Several options include a dragon, Frozen Elsa costume, Minnie Mouse, and various superheroes.
The dragon and superhero costumes come with add-ons that incorporate the wheelchair into their costume with ease. These costumes also feature openings in the back, which make it easier for wheelchair users to get dressed.
The Elsa and Minnie Mouse costumes are designed to be sensory-friendly; they have no tags, and all seams are flat. They also have hidden openings for easy access to the abdominal, arm/sleeve and pant inseam areas – to make it easy to get in and out of, or to access any needed areas. Headpieces can be removed in case children become uncomfortable; this way, they can easily continue participating in the festivities without having to go home and change.
Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating awesome costumes for kids in wheelchairs, free of charge! To be eligible, the child must be between the ages of five and 17 (check out their easy application form here).
The Magic Wheelchair team embraces each child’s chair as an integral part of their costume. To see more of their show-stopping creations, check out the photo gallery of epic costumes on their website or Instagram account!
Rolling Buddies offers a variety of designs that can be stuck to the sides of a wheelchair for Halloween. Check out all of their options here! They also sell adaptive clothing and additional small wheelchair accessories.
This fun slideshow from Parents Magazine shows off handmade Halloween costumes for kids who use wheelchairs, ranging from Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood Trolley to the Wizard of Oz in his hot air balloon!
Another list of wheelchair-friendly Halloween costumes; this one includes clever designs such as a Disc Jockey, Pac-Man, and zebra. Click here to check out the full list!
For the first time in 2022, Meijer stores will be selling several adaptive costumes – an astronaut, mermaid, skeleton, and a witch! Available across the midwest, these costumes will be priced the same as their offered non-adaptive costumes.
Since store-bought costumes often have elements that irritate children with sensory processing issues, Understood.org suggests several handmade costume ideas that use the child’s everyday clothes for added comfort. For example, plain sweatshirts/hoodies can be transformed into a variety of animals by affixing additional materials to the outside. Simple pajamas can be decorated with a skeleton design, or siblings/friends could go as Thing 1 and Thing 2. Basic clothing items can also be combined into costumes such as Waldo, a referee, or the Super Mario Brothers.
Pathways suggests some tips for having a sensory-friendly Halloween, including doing a “costume practice run.” They recommend having the child try on the complete costume in advance, letting them wear it around the house before Halloween so they can get used to it and to make sure nothing about it is too irritating. This will give parents time to make any necessary modifications before the big day. Pathways also advises that kids wear familiar clothing under costumes for added comfort on the big day.
Do you have any Halloween costume ideas or general Halloween-related tips for kids with disabilities/sensory issues? Let us know in the comments!
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The HIE Help Center is run by ABC Law Centers, a medical malpractice firm exclusively handling cases involving HIE and other birth injuries. We are passionate about helping families obtain the compensation necessary to cover their extensive medical bills and other necessities for their child.
If you suspect your child’s disability may have been caused by medical negligence, contact us today to learn more about pursuing a case. We provide free legal consultations, during which we will inform you of your legal options and answer any questions you have. Moreover, you pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we obtain a favorable settlement.