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Fourth of July Tips

The 4th of July is a fun family holiday but many of our children that struggle with sensory processing often get overstimulated. The sensory system can only tolerate so much “unexpected” input before getting too overwhelmed. A child with an overwhelmed sensory system can look a variety of ways:

  • Meltdown (crying and screaming)

  • Asking to leave (avoidance of a situation)

  • Becoming very shy or reluctant to participate in activities

  • Having a difficult time being a first time listening (auditory system is overwhelmed)

  • Biting on shirt, hands or other items (using their oral motor system to regulate)

  • Being very touchy or clingy to a “safe person” (seeking proprioceptive input)

  • Demonstrating sensory seeking behaviors (running away, jumping or crashing on the ground and touching everything)

Ways to help you child modulate:

  • Allow them to have more breaks throughout the day - 5 minute resets can be very helpful when trying not to let your child’s bucket overflow.

  • Talking to them about the activities of the day and order so they know what is coming.

  • Talking to your child about expected vs. unexpected behaviors (setting them up for success)

  • Giving your child a sensory fidget or chewy for transitions (not usually longer than 10 minutes as the input will “wear off”)

  • Allow your child to have a code word when they need help or guidance in a situation so they don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.

  • Give your child positive redirection and positive praise. (For example, I love how you are controlling your body, thank you for being a first time listener, I appreciate you using your strategies…)

  • Joint compressions- Giving your child big hugs or small joint compression can help to re-center and reorganize their sensory systems.

Tips for Fireworks:

  • Allow your child to wear headphones

  • Allow your child to pick where they want to sit and try to find a spot where they have room to move around.

  • Allow your child to watch fireworks on TV without the sound to decrease sensory input

  • Put on acoustic music with fireworks therefore, there is less overwhelm with unexpected popping of fireworks.

  • Allow your child to have access to sensory items such as weighted lap pad and or blanket during fireworks.

  • Showing your child pictures before going so they know what the park or space will look like.

  • Don’t force it:)

Helpful reminders for our sensory children:

  • Sun and chlorine can affect your child’s sensory system.

  • Change in routine and/or decreased sleep can have a large impact on your child’s sensory system.

  • Unfamiliar situations can be very overwhelming for children.

  • Inconsistent expectations can lead to more meltdowns and frustrations between both parents and adults.

Mrs.Taylor's 4th of July Activities: (click the picture to purchase)

Happy 4th from the Helping Hands Team!!


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