Tips & facts

CVI and Halloween

Tips on how to make Halloween fun and accessible for kids with CVI

Boy watching a Halloween cartoon on his iPad
Halloween can be tricky for children with CVI. 

The CVI visual behaviors can work against kids with CVI in many ways.

What are some ways to make Halloween more accessible and fun for children with CVI?

Family out trick or treating, with a boy with CVI in a wheelchair in a Rubix cube costume

Let’s first think about what aspects of Halloween might already be helpful for kids with CVI.

Boy with CVI smiling for the camera and wearing a shark hat and t-shirt

Six ideas to address the difficult parts of Halloween

  1. Go trick or treating early in the day to avoid loud and noisy situations, and even work around that late-in-the-day fatigue that can set in for your child with CVI. Visit just a few neighbors or go to a familiar house of a friend or family member. One CVI parent shared that her family goes trick or treating at the Zoo during the daytime. Maybe this is an option in your area! 
  2. If you want to avoid trick or treating altogether, do a candy scavenger hunt in your house. Favorite foods and treats can be super motivating to work on skills. Place candy in familiar spots in your house (on the bed, a favorite chair, on top of the washer). Use descriptive language to support your child as they locate the candy. If needed, use a flashlight to add light to support visual attention. For children with CVI who are able to recognize 2D, show a photograph of the candy and ask them to find it. Or show a picture of the location where the candy is hiding, and then have your child navigate to that location in the house. 
  3. The candy bag/bucket is an excellent opportunity to use color and light as supports for visual attention and visual motor skills. Choose a bag that is a preferred color or a highly saturated color. If light is still a needed support for your child, velcro an LED light at the bottom of the candy bucket. This may help your child look while dropping the candy in the bucket. 
  4. Ask friends and family to introduce themselves when they are in their costumes. Your child may recognize the familiar voice. Verbally describe the costumes of each person. 
  5. Costumes are another opportunity to leverage your child’s interests. Help your child choose a costume of a character or item they are very familiar with. For example, one CVI parent chose a shark costume because her son loved the song, “Baby Shark.”  
  6. Choose clothing that your child will tolerate. You know your child best. If they only love wearing sweatsuits, then a successful costume will have a sweatsuit as its base. A CVI parent mentioned that she has a back up costume just in case the first option doesn’t work out. We always have to be prepared for anything when it comes to our kids with CVI. 
Family trick or treating at the Zoo. Boy with CVI in stroller dressed as a shark.

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