Saturday, June 30, 2012
Dazzling Fireworks...A Sensory Nightmare??
Fireworks are a traditional part of Independence Day here in American. Apart from organized events scattered throughout the country, firecrackers, sparklers, and numerous other pyrotechnic goodies are available in retail outlets for anyone to use and enjoy.
I was born and raised in Waterford Michigan. In this area, you cannot go for a mile without coming across a lack. They are the direct result of glaciers that traveled across this area in another time. Due to numerous lakes, there are a series of fireworks events leading up to and following Independence Day. When I was younger, Fireworks really hurt my ears. I had to cover them in order to avoid the pain. When I was about six or seven years old, my mom had me try to fall asleep during a firework show. This was not a pleasant experience.
This was before I knew about autism and sensory processing disorders. My advice to parents is to try to avoid fireworks shows with your autistic children or at least keep a close eye on how they react to the displays that charm so many. If he seems distressed during the show, then it is hurting him. Get him out of there and try to soothe the meltdown.
For whatever reason, my hearing is not as sensitive as it used to be. Fireworks don't bother me the way they did when I was a child. So, try to be conscientious of the sensory difficulties your child might have during a firework display, but other than that, try to enjoy the show!A