While many of us are looking forward to celebrating the fourth of July with fireworks, for some of our children who have auditory defensiveness, it is a dreadful event! Some children respond to loud, unexpected noises with a flight or fight reaction; they either run and hide or may show their discomfort by slugging a sibling! Other children may cover their ears to the loud booms or complain of a tummy ache! Whatever their responses are, we must acknowledge and respect their discomfort and help them get through the holiday!
First and foremost, help your child by preparing her. Give her an idea of what is to come and help identify strategies that may help her feel better. Help her gain a sense of control of her environment. Does she have a cozy corner in her bedroom or a weighted blanket she can cover up with? If you're heading out to a barbeque, take along some headphones or ear plugs to dampen the sounds of the fireworks. Chewing gum may also help. Many times she will be able to figure out what could make her feel better, but the key is to establish the strategies in advance, before you head out to watch the fireworks!
Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!
Michelle Yoder, OTR/L