Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #28~ Halloween Costumes and a Special Needs Child

Blog #28~ Halloween Costumes and a Special Needs Child

I wanted to lighten things up this week and show some of the fun Halloween costumes the boys have worn over the years.  I love dressing up for Halloween. You can show your alter ego and reinvent yourself.   It has been a blast creating looks and finding unique costumes for the boys.  Having a child with special needs which include sensory issues can make it challenging.  My son, Nick has Down syndrome and autism. He doesn’t tolerate masks, barely wears hats and gloves much less the extra accessories.  Needless to say, he has never dressed up as a pirate.  Here’s a look at some of the Halloween costumes the boys have worn.

1994~ Nick’s first Halloween.  He’s 8 months old. Grandma Theresa had these made for the boys.  Look at my cute lil pumpkins…… 🙂

The following year we went with the cowboy theme.  Hank and Nick like me, are native Texans.  Yee ha boys…….

I am not the only one who likes to dress up.  So does my brother Tom, who decided to go as a baby in the picture below.  I am pretty sure that’s not milk in his bottle. They took the wagon for  Nick (who wasn’t walking yet) and most likely for that cooler by my brother’s feet.  Also in the picture is Hank went as a pirate…Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  The little dinosaur is my nephew, Austin.  🙂


The next few years we lived in Livermore, California. Hank looks menacing while Nick made a sweet, little M&M.   Wonder how long those gloves stayed on Nick?  Answer:  Long enough for me to take the picture!

Nick got such a kick out of his brother’s mask.  Hank was in the scary costume period like most boys go thru.  Al is sporting his old Mardi Gras wig….

Here’s a close up of Nick.  “I’ve cast a spell on you!”

Halloween 2000 in Livermore, Hank with his Dad…….

And Nick made an awfully cute Sponge Bob (minus the gloves)

Halloween 2001, we had moved to Chicago where you have to bundle up for Halloween.  Hank was so excited to be the creepy clown and scare his friend next door. Does anyone else have a creepy clown phobia?  What I found for Nick with having Down syndrome and autism was the necessity to keep the costumes simple.  There are many costumes that just slip over his head in one piece and without covering the face. These seemed to work the best for him.

Pizza anyone?

I had many neighbors tell me that they looked forward to seeing what the boys were going to be for Halloween.  Hank in particular allowed me to get more creative during his early teen years.

Hippy Hank looking groovy with his friend Bobby…..

Nick was a referee.  Guess how long the hat stayed on?  Answer: Long enough to take the picture 🙂

This could be one of my favorites, nerdy Hank.  We had a lot of fun putting this look together.  By the way those glasses were his Dad’s (the Clark Griswold look from the late 80’s) I’ve always saved all kinds of things like this  over the years to enhance Halloween costumes.  By Hank’s side is Seargent Nick ready to report to duty…..

Hank went a totally different direction the following year…………..

This costume seemed to suit Nick who loves the farting humor, 2009……

Halloween 2010, It’s Super Nick!

photo (109)

Nick is pumped up for Halloween this year….. 

Guess how long the dew rag stayed on his head?  Answer:  Do you even have to ask? 🙂

It’s been fun pulling out the photo albums and taking a trip down memory lane.  The boys are all grown, but they both still dress up for dances and parties at school.  You can get pretty creative finding costumes for a child who has special needs and sensory issues.   That’s what is in my noggin this week. Until next Monday, enjoy your Halloween under the full moon and watch out for those creepy clowns!



Teresa is the Author of "A New Course: A Mother's Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism" and the mother of two boys. Her youngest son, Nick is 29 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). Teresa's passion is helping others understand and navigate co-occurring Down syndrome and autism. She is a DS-ASD consultant, advocate, speaker, and author. Follow Nick's world on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice of Autism and on Twitter @tjunnerstall. For more information and media links, visit

4 thoughts on “Blog #28~ Halloween Costumes and a Special Needs Child

  1. A great “free writing” – you have the knack, not only for writing but for the costumes, they were great photos!!!

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