Fourth of July Fun for Children with Sensory Issues
Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families
For children who have sensory issues, going to see fireworks on the Fourth of July can be a nightmare. The fireworks, which are already loud to people who do not have sensory issues, can be deafening for a child who has sensory issues. Sitting on the grass may also be uncomfortable. And for children who do not want to be touched, navigating through crowds of people can be incredibly difficult. Here are some of our tips for enjoying Fourth of July fireworks with your child with sensory issues:
• Bring headphones.
If your child is sensitive to sound, bring noise-blocking headphone to put on during the fireworks. They will still be able to enjoy the beautiful views, but without the accompanying noises.
• Bring a chair and blankets, and wear long clothes.
When different places put on fireworks, they are often done near an open field that people can sit in so that there’s a clear view of the fireworks. However, sitting on the grass can be troubling for a child with sensory issues. Their tactile defensiveness may kick in which can be difficult for you and them. So, if you are going to view in a place like this, make sure you bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on so that your child doesn’t have to be exposed to the grass (or those pesky mosquitos). Also, make sure you put them in long pants and shoes rather than sandals or flip-flops.
• View from indoors.
If you think that your child may have difficulty viewing the fireworks outside, consider hosting an indoor party. You can find a video of fireworks online and keep the volume low. Your child will still be able to enjoy fireworks while remaining in the comfort of their own home. Plus, there won’t be any crowds to bother your child.
• Make your own social story.
Creating a social story together builds literacy, executive functioning, and communication skills. You can take pictures to incorporate. You can even light a few fireworks of your own – by doing so, it’s predictable and controlled for when your child is ready for a little excitement but not quite ready for a full show. Have a good time and make some memories!
At Peak Potential Therapy, we want to see your child have sensory success both on the Fourth of July and everyday. Remember that our ABA and speech-language therapy sessions run all year long. For more fun summer activities for you child, check out our camp offerings. Happy Fourth of July from Peak Potential Therapy!