We are just a few days away from one of the biggest summer celebrations of the year: 4th of July. It is a day full of fun, food and fireworks! However, to some who struggle with special needs, this can be a very difficult day for them. From large crowds to bright lights and the loud sounds of fireworks, the 4th of July can be stressful.
To ease the stress of the July 4th holiday, here are 6 ways to try and help make the day a more pleasant experience.
- Prepare your child for what will happen
If you are going to a fireworks show prep your child for what they will see, hear and experience. Make sure you explain why they are going to see the bright flashes of lights, and hear the loud sound of the fireworks. Find a social story to help explain how the night will go step by step. Search for a video online that shows what a fireworks show looks and sounds like to help them know what to expect.
- Watch the fireworks from a distance
The further away you can get from where the fireworks go off, obviously the less sound you will hear. The flashes of light will also not be as “in your face.” You can also check with the facility that is hosting the fireworks show to see if they have a special “sensory friendly” area that can help cause less anxiety for your child.
- Bring noise-reducing headphones
This will help drown out or even block the sound completely. If your child is a fan of music, bring headphones that play the kind of music he or she likes to help reduce the child’s anxiety.
- Bring an item that is comforting to the child
Does your child have a blanket that he or she loves? Bring it to sit on. Is there a toy or an item that they always have in their hands? Take it with you. Bring something that makes them feel more at home and this will hopefully make them feel more comfortable at the fireworks show.
- Leave ahead of the crowds
It’s no surprise that fireworks celebrations bring large crowds of people together, especially on the country’s birthday! Once the show ends, everyone bolts to their cars to try and beat the traffic. If you are in a crowded area and you can foresee it getting very hectic once the show is over, plan on leaving a couple minutes early to miss the crowd and have fewer people crowding your child.
- Skip the Fireworks this year
If you really think your child is going to have a tough time at a fireworks show, just skip it this year. Find something else to do that will be less stressful on your child. It’s not worth the trauma that it could result in. If you really want to see a fireworks show, you can always turn on the TV and watch the Boston fireworks live!
From all of us here at The Recreational Education Center, we wish you a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!