Halloween, Guy Fawkes and Christmas so many events to conjure up happy childhood memories for so many of us… Yet for ASD sufferers and their nearest and dearest, these occasions can be the source of many headaches.
People dressed up in scary characters can be a confusing and somewhat traumatic experience for children on the spectrum as individuals they know will take a different appearance. One Mum relates: “my child didn’t dressing up of any sorts well until he was 7. I remember him being terrified of his nursery teacher on World Book Day when she was all dressed up, so Halloween was a big no no”.
Fireworks and Guy Fawkes bring their own cohort of problems with the lights and noise often being way too much for individuals with sensory issues. A dad of an Asperger’s boy recently said “ Before his diagnosis, I took my son to see a display thinking it might be nice Father/Son bonding experience. This couldn’t have been further from the truth, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my child so terrified. We’ve gradually built up his confidence by watching the fireworks closer and closer from a bedroom window. This year we might even try with the window open”.
And the biggy… Christmas, with new social situations, relatives that may not be privy to a diagnosis and food preferences that cannot be catered for… In other words, headaches and more headaches…
This can be compounded by neuro typical siblings who have the full intention (and by the way are completely allowed!) to enjoy these events to the full.
So how to proceed? We’d love to hear about your strategies and special tricks to make these enjoyable occasions for everyone. With so many parents at their wits end, it would be great to hear about things that have worked for you.
We look forward to hearing about your suggestions!
The Helpp Team