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5 tips for a sensory-friendly Fourth of July

Eau Claire (WQOW) – For many of us, the Fourth of July brings fond memories, a day of barbecues, fun and fireworks.

However, for one in every 59 children with autism in the United States, dealing with loud noises, bright lights and large crowds can be a challenge.

That does not mean your family needs to skip out on the festivities.

There are a variety of ways parents can accommodate their kids’ needs on the holiday.

The Wisconsin Early Autism Project says telling your child what fireworks are like and how many people will be at the event can help them to feel in control.

Eau Claire Center Director Cassie Sedlacek recommends trying out noise-canceling headphones at home before attending any celebrations.

She said if you see a child struggling with a sensory challenge, it is best to let the child’s family respond.

“Individuals on the autism spectrum, but also other children sometimes, have sensory processing difficulties,” Sedlacek said. “Be patient, give them space when needed, and kind of let the families handle what is going on with them.”

Sedlacek said every child with sensory difficulties is unique. So, listening to your child during the celebrations can make all the difference.

Emily Shepardson

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