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Celebrating the 4th – Kids with Special Needs Edition
A post by AngelSense, a GPS & voice-monitoring solution designed for children with special needs.
Learn more about how AngelSense’s GPS tracking device keeps children safe and brings peace of mind to parents.
The 4th of July can hold many wonderful childhood memories – parades, fireworks, BBQ’s and crowds of people in the hot sun enjoying their day off. But for children with autism or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), the festivities can prove to be very overwhelming and upsetting. Here are some tips to help make their day (and the family’s) a more positive experience.
A little time spent beforehand can make the entire day go much more smoothly. Once you know your plans, start talking to your special needs child about what to expect. Balance out the warnings – lots of people, noise, and a disruption of their normal day – with all the fun things that will happen. Maybe they’ll see favorite cousins or friends, or enjoy a rare treat!
Consider showing your child videos of some of the activities – parades, big BBQ’s and fireworks. Start with the volume low, and then gradually increase it to gauge your child’s reactions.
Also, it’s important to let your child know that it’s okay to be scared or nervous. It’s also okay to decide that they would rather stay with grandparents or trusted friends rather than go to the parade. Choices for kids with special needs are empowering.
2. Have a backup plan.
So everything during the planning stage went great – but on the morning of the 4th, it’s clear this isn’t going to be the day to introduce fireworks. If you have an alternative activity (like watching fireworks on tv at home, playing board games, having a cook-out in the backyard), you can save the day for everyone.
Or, modify your original plans – go to the park but stay away from crowds. Check out the parade but choose a seat near the beginning of the route so you can leave earlier.
3. Pack a bag.
Along with sensory overload, little traps abound such as unfamiliar foods, or having to wait for things like parades or fireworks to start. Snacks, comfort meals, favorite toys and distractions are going to be your best friends. Consider bringing things to chew on or fidget with, and bring a tablet for games (with earphones).
4. Safe Space
If you’re going to the parade, or the BBQ, or the park for fireworks, establish a safe space for your child. Since it might not be easy to find a “quiet” corner, consider a small tent or blanket to hide in, along with sunglasses and noise blocking headphones.
5. Know Everyone’s Limits.
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so know how much your child – and your family – want to handle before it becomes too much. Family memories are so important, but nothing is worth everyone getting stressed out.
Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!
AngelSense is committed to creating a safer world for special needs children. We designed the AngelSense GPS tracking solution to give parents the peace of mind that their child is safe at all times. You deserve peace of mind too. Try AngelSense Today.