Fireworks are a fun tradition for many on the 4th of July. What many of us fail to recognize is how the loud sounds they emit affect children with autism. The experience can be overwhelming and even painful to a child on the autism spectrum, due to the lights and sounds of the fireworks. With proper preparation and by following the list of helpful tips, our therapists at Mobile Therapy Centers recommend, you increase the possibilities of enjoying the holiday and maybe even catching a firework display with the family this year.
1. Use a visual schedule – this will give a better explanation of what to expect ahead of time. Being able to manage these expectations with a visual chart will help your child better understand the activities planned for the day. Make sure to review the schedule throughout the day to prepare them for the festivities.
2. Watch videos at home – watching videos online of firework displays will provide them with an idea of what to expect, especially if it’s their first time. This provides a controlled setting for their initial experience.
3. Inform yourself about the fireworks displays in your area – it’s best to find a fireworks display that offers a variety of viewing areas. Having the ability to watch from afar, stand away from the crowds or even view them from your car are all great options to have.
4. Items you should consider bringing to a firework display for your child – headphones, sunglasses, heavy blanket, tent, snacks, toys, ear plugs/ear muffs and any comforting items.
5. Enjoy the holiday at home – stay in, invite some family and friends over, get some sparklers and simply make the most of the day. Be aware that many of your neighbors may still be celebrating with loud fireworks of their own, so having a safe space in your home for your child is a must. Having their favorite music or tv show on would be a good idea, and providing them with headphones when necessary.
Ultimately, find what works best for your child and ease them into the situation. Be well informed about the events you plan on attending, but also have a back up plan in place. Mobile Therapy Centers hopes you enjoy your 4th of July holiday with your family and hopefully some of these tips can assist in making it even better this year.
Mobile Therapy Centers services include ABA Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Therapy and Counseling. We see children at our clinic, at your home or at your child’s school/childcare making it convenient for you and your family. Contact us for a free consultation at 847-816-7200 or at https://mtcus.com/services/counseling/.