The 4th of July season means more parades, fireworks, and gatherings some children have a hard time managing. Between the loud noises, bright lights, and overwhelming crowds, this can cause a sensory overload and more meltdowns. This doesn’t mean your family needs to miss out on all the fun the holiday brings!
Here are some helpful tips to have a safe and enjoyable July 4th:
Bring a ‘calm down bag’ or create a ‘calm down corner’ at home:
- If you will be celebrating with family and friends, pack a bag with calming tools your child enjoys such as books, fidget toys, coloring books, music, bubbles, sunglasses, or headphones for fireworks, etc. If you are at home, create a safe place for your child to relax with pillows and blankets, using dim lighting and peaceful sounds to help relax.
Help prepare your child for the day
- Some kids like the predictability of a routine day. Prepare your child with either a visual schedule or use of a social story of the events of the day or expose your child to what they may do, describing the sounds, lights, or the people involved. You can do this by role-playing a BBQ with friends or watching a video on fireworks.
Heavy work for practical use
- Heavy work is a great tool to help calm and regulate the sensory system. A great way to get that input is by having your child help prepare for the party! Have them help pack the car, put dishes out on the table, or help with the cooking by rolling out the pie crust or mixing the salad!
Looking for additional information? Try this: http://www.positivelyautism.com/downloads/socialstory4thofJuly.pdf