NewsLocal News / July 2, 2019

Local Autism Experts Share Tips For 4th of July

Local Autism Experts Share Tips For 4th of JulyFor the roughly 17,000 Indiana children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the 4th of July Holiday poses a unique challenge. autism, indiana resource center for autism2019-07-02T00:00:00-04:00
Local Autism Experts Share Tips For 4th of July

For the roughly 17,000 Indiana children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the 4th of July Holiday poses a unique challenge.

FILE PHOTO: WFYI

For the roughly 17,000 Indiana children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the 4th of July Holiday poses a unique challenge. 

While there are many different subtypes of autism, people with Autism can be hyper-sensitive to bright lights and loud noises, which is often exacerbated by fireworks.

Kelli Higgins, Outreach Manager for the Autism Society of Indiana, recommends a range of options for parents and others who will be with children with ASD this July 4th, stressing planning ahead as the most important part of enjoying the holiday. 

“Preparation is key for any individual with autism,” Higgins says, “to help them prepare for a night of fireworks or being out with family or friends.”

Higgins says sites such as the Indiana Resource Center for Autism are valuable tools for family and friends of individuals with autism. The IRCA has many resources available including so-called “social stories” which use history and social traditions to explain events like fireworks on July 4th.

IRCA Director Cathy Pratt says it is important for families to make sure their loved ones with autism are comfortable on the holiday.

“All of it is really about helping the child become more comfortable and less anxious,” Pratt says, “I think having a plan in case the fireworks become too overwhelming, so the noise-canceling headphones could be helpful.”

Both experts recommend children with autism watch videos of fireworks before July 4th. The ability to control the volume and watch in a safe, comfortable environment may help them when they see the real thing. 

They say people should warn others around them before shooting fireworks, in case individuals with autism are present.

Above all, both Higgins and Pratt agree that being flexible, having patience, and taking breaks is the best way to make the 4th of July holiday as enjoyable as possible for everyone.

 

 

Related News

Red Line Buses Having Charging Problems
Veterans, Family Attend Annual Veterans Day Service
New Technology at the Polls