|A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Washington Monument. Location: WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (DC) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
1. Use social stories or visuals to prepare him/her for a party. This is best done a few days in advance so he/she will be as comfortable as possible. It also helps to prepare a list of guests’ names and faces beforehand, so that he/she can become familiar with who is coming to the event.
2. Bright and loud, fireworks can be overwhelming for people with ASD. Provide him/her with a way to dampen the sound – headphones, for example. Note that not every person with ASD dislikes fireworks, but plan for the most difficult scenario.
3. A picnic or barbecue will present him/her with new sights, sounds and smells, so it may help if he/she is provided with familiar food and drink.
4. Make sure he/she has an item from home, such as a magazine or favorite toy, which can provide a distraction in stressful situations.
5. If the situation becomes too intense – during fireworks, for example – he/she may need to leave. Coordinate an escape route and make plans for possible contingencies.
6. Holding a small cookout the week before the real thing can be great practice for the Fourth.
7. Individuals with ASD can be fearless, and fire can be a hazard to them. Keep an eye on him/her in order to avoid accidents around grills, fireworks and campfires.
8. If he/she relies on sign language, typing or symbols to communicate, make sure he/she knows how to communicate about the food and events he/she may encounter.
Happy Fourth of July!
Topics:Living with Autism
Autism Society - Tips for Families and Friends: How to Have a Sensory-Friendly Fourth of July
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