Letter from the Editor: Halloween for all

Hello Dear Reader!

Like most children, my kid is obsessed with Halloween. She looks forward to it all year. She plans for it months ahead, thinks about all of her costume details, and diligently studies the character she will assume. I often have to curb the conversation, telling her that she can talk fervently about Halloween only starting in September. Once September 1st hits, the flood gates open and anticipation of Halloween starts to build to its fever pitch.

Like most adults, I still feel excitement around Halloween, but the excitement is overridden by visions of my child riding the roller coaster of emotions brought on by the consumption of way too much sugar. This paired with the idea of having to comb through the giant pile of candy loot, figuring out which ones are gluten-free and which ones are not, just makes me weary. You see, my kiddo has food sensitivities and sensory issues that are exacerbated by eating sugar. When she goes on even a mild sugar binge, it “disorganizes” her vestibular system and her executive function capacities. This is on top of the typical emotional highs and lows that most kids experience. The disorganization lasts up to 48 hours. By the end of those two days, I’m ready to throw myself out the nearest widow. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for me, I live in a single story house. So, yeah, the whole candy thing puts a damper on my ability to enjoy Halloween, and in a way, my daughter’s too. Bummer.

But, never fear! In comes the Switch Witch. Haven’t heard of her? Once the children are asleep Halloween night, she comes to your house and trades Halloween candy for a toy or trinket the child can have. This equals a happy kid (they have a new toy) and a happy parent (less sugar highs to wade through)!

The Switch Witch is just one of many strategies to make Halloween more enjoyable for all. Another is the Teal Pumpkin Project. The houses that display teal pumpkins outside their homes are giving away non-edible treats or treats that are allergen-free. Halloween is meant to be fun, so if you find yourself with complicated circumstances that make you dread this kid-focused holiday, fear not, there are many creative strategies to make Halloween less stressful and more inclusive. Now go out there and trick-or-treat with wild abandon! Here’s to wishing you lots of spooky fun for the weeks to come 🙂 Happy Halloween from the crew at ETM.




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