As anyone with a child who suffers with an autism spectrum disorder or has special needs is aware, fireworks can be a time of extreme anxiety and distress. There are a few steps which can be taken to try to alleviate some of the problems that Bonfire Night can present.
The noise, bright lights and the sheer volume of people around, particularly at organised displays can make it seemingly impossible for the remains of a family to enjoy a firework display. However, with the introduction of some minor but important actions, some families have reported that they have indeed been able to go along:
• Jot down on the calendar when the event is and keep highlighting when it will take place
• On the night of the display, try to get as far away from the crowds and the fireworks as possible whilst still been able to see them
• If needs be, sit in the car with their favourite music on where they can still see the fireworks
• If your child will accept ear defenders, try them if not, a hat/scarf or hood will do the trick
• Offer constant reassurance
• Toys can offer a much-welcomed distraction so take one along
• Snacks can help
• Some organised displays have special areas for children with special needs so it might be worth checking it out before going along
If you are planning a display at home, this can be a great deal easier to arrange as inside the house, in a place they consider safe with a specially selected set of fireworks will also help.
• Most fireworks will have some noise but any reputable dealer will have information pertaining to each product. Indeed every item Epic Fireworks sells has a noise rating which you can see for yourself and a video which will give you a better idea of what to expect.
• Austism affected children are particularly affected by screeches and whistles so double check what sound effects they have and remember, the power to launch firework effects will carry noise on some level but, you can still find some really good, low noise products on the market.
We have a customer whose son is autistic but he has always loved to look at the firework brochures and the videos online with the sound turned down. But over time, his mum turned the sound up a little every day until he got to the point where he would enjoy them, and indeed could identify which was which.