Halloween Costume Guide for Special Needs Kids

Don't let your child's disability bring you down on Halloween. There are many clever homemade costume ideas you can make that incorporate wheelchairs and other equipment. Plus it's easier than ever to incorporate sweat pants and sweat shirts for children with sensory or mobility issues. Check out these costumes and you're sure to get some creative ideas of your own. I would love to see your own costume ideas for your child. Please send those to .

by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs


Cut outs costumes - You'll find a variety of costume ideas with cut outs for the child to fit in. Some are full body cut outs that the child wears with suspenders or can be modified to fit around a stroller. Others are the sandwich board style with straps along the shoulder. You'll also find face cut outs where the costume is the board with the child's head poking through. Most of these costumes allow for the person to wear their own clothing. If your child has specific medical equipment or a gait trainer, you may be able to incorporate that as the board holder.

iStock imageEasy to make costumes - Costumes that busy parents can make or put together at the last minute.

No make up or masks - Here are costume ideas for children who are unable or are uncomfortable putting masks or make up on their faces.

Sensory issue costumes - Most store bought costumes are stiff and itchy. For children with sensory issues, comfort is the most important feature of the custome. Comfort is also important for children with mobility issues. Arms and legs must not have restricted movement. Here are ideas that allowyour child to wear comfortable sweat shirts and sweat pants or their own clothes.

Wheelchair costumes - Clever costumes that use the wheelchair as part of the costume prop as well as cut out costumes that can be converted to a wheelchair costume.

Looking for something special? Here is the above list broken out by costume type:

Airplane costumes - Many different styles of planes as full body cut outs

Animal costumes - Variety of animal costumes. A few clever ideas--check out the Box of Free Kittens

Appliance costumes - Find a box and turn it into a washing machine. These can be converted into a wheelchair costume.

Board game costumes - If your child has a favorite board game, here are some easy costume ideas.

Boat costumes - Fun cut out costume ideas including the Deadliest Catch boat.

Camping costumes - Some pretty clever camping designs including one for a wheelchair.

Car costumes - Creative costumes from simple to complicated including a car wash and car engine.

Circus costumes - These parents incorporated a circus theme for their child's wheelchair including a clown car and animal cage.

Construction costumes - Hats off to these parents who made CAT machine and John Deere cut out costumes.

iStock imageDisney costumes - Here are a few costumes with a Disney theme including Wall-E.

Electronics costumes - Some pretty neat ideas your kids and teens will love including iPod, GPS and web pages.

Fairy tale costumes - Many cute ideas including some clever wheelchair variations.

Food theme costumes - You are sure to find your child's favorite food listed here.

Flower costumes - Costume ideas including one for a wheelchair.

Glowing costumes - Neat costume ideas involving necklace glow sticks.

Gypsy costumes - Standard gypsy costume plus detailed one for a wheelchair.

Haunted house costumes - Some pretty neat designs including several for wheelchairs.

Insect costumes - Costumes for bug lovers

Lego costumes - Really neat costume ideas turn your child into a Lego minifigure!

Military costumes - Really clever designs for paratroopers, one using helium balloons and another using a gait trainer. Plus tanks for wheelchairs.

iStock imageOcean theme costumes - Dress up as a jellyfish, octopus, whale or mermaid.

Pirate costumes - Ahoy mateys, these costumes include the pirate and the ship!

Princess costumes - A few princess costume ideas including a ballerina in a jewelry box.

Road sign costumes - Costumes for a variety of road signs and traffic lights.

Robot costumes - An easy to make costume using silver gift bags.

Roller coaster costumes - If you have a roller coaster enthusiast in the house, you have to check out these costumes.

Space costumes - Space themed costumes for kids

Sports theme costumes - Sports themed costumes for kids

Star Wars costumes - Check out these Star Wars costumes for wheelchair users.

Toxic waste costume - Turn your kid into a vat of toxic sludge.

Train costumes - Costumes include Thomas the Tank Engine, Amtrak and railroad crossing sign

Transformers costumes - Some really awesome costumes for Transformers fans

TV host costumes - Great cut out ideas! Become your favorite TV host or news anchor.

Vehicle costumes - Big list of vehicle type costumes including fire trucks, Humvee, school bus and more.

Weather costumes - Weather related costumes including a tornado, lighthouse and leaf pile.

More reading:

Learning how to trick or treat - Practice the sequence of trick or treating with your child now.
Trick or treat social story - One Place for Special Needs created this social story to help kids know what to do when trick or treating
Halloween anxieties - Accommodate your child so she can have a fun, instead of scary Halloween
Halloween safety -Make sure your children are aware of basic child safety rules for Halloween
Halloween and special diets - Links to non-candy treat alternatives and gluten free candy products
Halloween activities - Find online games, arts and crafts activities and visual recipes
Leftover candy - Here are some good ideas for repurposing all that extra Halloween candy.

Dawn VillarrealAbout the writer

Dawn Villarreal runs One Place for Special Needs, a national disability resource that lets you find local and online resources, events and even other families in your neighborhood plus thousands of online disability resources! Stay awhile and check out the site. She is also moderator of Autism Community Connection, a Yahoo group for families of children with autism spectrum disorder. Reprint permission granted by including: Reprinted with permission from One Place for Special Needs http://www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com