Easter for Children with Special Needs
Easter can be a fun time of year with all pretty pastel colors, Easter bunnies, egg hunts and candy! If you have a child with special needs, the activities may need to be altered a little. Here are some ideas for making sure all your kids have a fun time this Easter weekend!
· Host your own hunt. Sometimes the community egg hunts leave kids feeling frustrated or leaving with very few eggs and treats, especially if the child has challenges that make it hard to keep up with other kids. Consider having your own hunt at or around where you live. This allows your child to have as much time as they need and you can be as involved as you want without the pressures of kids swarming around you.
· Designate one color per child. If you have more than one kid and they are functioning at different levels, considering designating one color egg for each child. This ensures that those who are slower at finding their eggs still come away with a full basket of goodies.
· Table top hunts. If you have a child in a wheel chair or other mobility issues, consider hiding eggs in easy to reach places. One option is to put together a bin of rice (colored rice would be fun!) and hide the candy and eggs in the rice. This is also a great way to incorporate a sensory activity!
· Prepare for changes. It is likely that your schedule will vary from the norm this weekend, especially with school being out for Good Friday. You may also be planning on hosting or attending an event with a lot of people. This can be very stressful for kids who struggle with change, transition, loud noises, etc. Consider your child’s special needs and prepare them, yourself, and others before hand.
· Don’t push participation. If you child does not want to participate in the festivities just yet, don’t force them to do what they are not ready for. Some kids need to observe before they participate and others may want you close by. This is a fun time of year so accept that they may not be ready to participate just as you imagine.
· Gluten Free Candy. If you are looking for special candy, try Butterfinger cream eggs, Cadbury Chocolate mini eggs, Carousel bubble gum, Dubble Bubble Egg Hunt Fun, and Hershey’s Marshmallow Eggs. For a complete list of candy, visit http://www.myglutenfacts.com/pdfs/Easter2012USA.pdf