Adaptive Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults with Special Needs
Halloween is one of the most universally celebrated holidays in the United States. It’s a time for fun, food, fall-themed activities, and most importantly, costumes. Dressing up as your favorite superhero, TV character, or mythical creature is one of the most exciting things about this spooky holiday, and it’s a great way to celebrate our uniqueness. However, at times, Halloween can feel more trick than treat for individuals with special needs or intellectual disabilities. Between sensory overstimulation and costumes that just don’t work, it can be difficult to enjoy the holiday and its many recreational activities.
Everyone deserves to feel included and celebrated, which is why it’s so important to find (or make) costumes with adaptivity in mind. Whether you’re going for a spooky vibe or just something fun and creative, we’ve scared up some of the best-ever inclusive Halloween costume ideas for adults with special needs. Each costume allows for easy entry, a comfortable fit, and of course, a hair-raising transformation.
3 Types of Adaptive Costumes for Adults with Disabilities
The Comfortable Creature
You can’t go wrong with a comfortable costume. Start with a sweatshirt or pajamas as your base, and dress it up from there. The possibilities are endless. If you’re making a custom design, glue or sew additional details onto the fabric to create your perfect look. Become a spooky bat with some added material under the arms or transform into a ferocious dinosaur with a few felt triangles down the back. If you aren’t the DIY type, look for loose-fitting, soft materials. Several brands now offer adaptive costumes. But if you have your heart set on something specific, just be sure to remove the tags, cover any exposed seams, and make sure the fabric is soft to the touch.
The Helpful Hero
Sometimes, you just want to play the hero for a night, and Halloween is the perfect time to do just that. Transform into Superman and save the day (or night). Become your favorite cowboy or cowgirl and rule the Wild West. Or don a cape and wand to save your wizard friends from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. No matter which courageous character you choose, just be sure to adapt it to suit your specific superhero strengths.
The Spooky Spirit
When it comes to Halloween costumes, you can choose to go in several different directions, but the classic, creepy character is always a good choice. Witches, ghosts, and zombies — nothing says spooky quite like these traditional, yet terrifyingly fun options. If you’re looking to bring out your dark side for a night, try a loose-fitting cape or ensemble in dark hues. Add a pointy hat or some sinister makeup, and you’re ready to go bump in the night!
How to Host an Inclusive Halloween Event
Hosting a Halloween party for adults with special needs can seem tricky, but with proper planning, it can be a fun and inviting event for everyone. Just remember to consider their individual needs and incorporate the following tips:
- Be aware of sensory concerns. Limit sensory triggers such as fog machines, strobe lights, and loud sound effects.
- Reduce triggers that can cause anxiety. Save the creepy decorations and special effects for another time. Make sure the environment is well lit.
- Remove physical obstacles. Eliminate any barriers that may hinder participation or ease of movement within the environment. Also, be mindful that sometimes individuals cannot simply remove their costume as it may be a part of their mobility device.
Halloween at The Baddour Center
Our team at the Baddour Center hosts a yearly Trunk-or-Treat event for residents and CLIMB clients. Our goal is to provide a fun and inclusive event for your loved ones to enjoy this festive holiday. During this event, we focus primarily on providing positive interaction with residents and clients through games and other fun activities.
If you would like to learn more about other events held at the Baddour Center, please contact us.