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How to Plan a Great 4th of July with your Autistic Child

Posted on by Paula Pellet

On July 4th, America celebrates our independence with barbecues, festivals and, my favorite, FIREWORKS!  Unfortunately, the 4th of July crowds and loud noises can be very overwhelming and cause a great deal of anxiety for children with autism. With the right tools and preparation, you and your child can still enjoy a wonderful 4th of July with your friends and family. Here are some tips I found on how to prepare your child with autism for a fantastic 4th of July.

Preparation is Key

Create a plan for the 4th of July and be sure to include your child when planning. It will help put them at ease if they feel they are part of the planning process. Talk with them about what the day will look like, how many people will be around and explain the loud noises that will occur. You can show them videos of fireworks so they can experience the sounds before they actually happen. Finally, make sure you have a place for your child to go if they become overwhelmed. Make up a signal so your child can communicate to you if they start to feel uncomfortable.

Favorite Toys, Games and Snacks

Having your child’s favorite toys, games and snacks can create a secure and enjoyable atmosphere for him/her. Having these items around can be very comforting and entertaining to your child when they begin to feel antsy. A great toy to entertain your child that also provides a calming therapy is the I Spy bag. You and your child can create an I Spy bag for the 4th with my easy instructions on how to make an I Spy Bag.

Give them their Space

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Give your child security with a weighted blanket

Since there are many people out on the 4th of July, creating a designated spot for your child will be very important. This will give them their own space and allow them to feel more relaxed in a larger crowd. You can place their favorite blanket, towel or chair out to give your child a familiar and comforting area. You can make this space extra special by making them a weighted blanket with my DIY Weighted Blanket Instructions. Weighted blankets are often used to calm children with autism and will be a great addition to your child’s designated area.

Sound Off

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Listen to calming music to block the loud noise

The fireworks on the 4th of July can be very disturbing to children with autism. Some children with autism are extra sensitive to loud noises. All the fireworks going off at various times can create a great deal of anxiety. Having a pair of headphones or ear plugs handy will be very helpful to your child if they are sensitive to these loud noises. You can pack an iPod or MP3 player with your child’s favorite calming music or you can block the sound out all together with ear plugs. This will help to ensure the loud noises on the 4th won’t ruin your child’s experience.

Be Ready for Change

After all this planning, make sure your child knows there can always be a change in the schedule because of weather conditions. If you and your child are planning outdoor activities on the 4th, make sure you plan for rain. If you prepare your child for bad weather, you could prevent a major meltdown. Having a plan of action will be very comforting and will not only take stress off of your child, but will help you avoid all the stressful last minute changes.

I hope my tips help you and your child enjoy the 4th of July holiday. Please share your 4th of July plastic pellet activities with me on my Facebook page! I would love to share all your creative ideas! Happy 4th of July!

If you would like to purchase pellets for any of your creative projects, here is where you can order-

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About Paula Pellet

I’m an expert on all things plastic pellets, and I’m here to help you navigate through the sometimes confusing world of plastic pellets and stuffing materials. Whether your question is about our pellet materials or ordering from Quality Plastic Pellets, I’m here to help!

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