Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

July 2, 2014

Enjoying fireworks with auditory defensiveness

Happy Independence Day ya‚Äôll!, from Melissa Petcu, Occupational Therapist at Child and Family Development. 

I know that July 4th can often be a great time to celebrate with friends and family. When I think about this holiday I am flooded with thoughts and memories of watermelon, corn on the cob, pool games, cook outs, flags, and fireworks.


If you have a child with auditory defensiveness or auditory sensitivity, they may have difficulty with watching the fireworks. As you may know, children with auditory sensitivity often have a fight or flight response to a noise that is too over stimulating for him or her. One of the best ways to help your child love this holiday without a melt down is to start by preparing him for the fireworks now. Show him videos of fireworks on youtube. Color pictures of fireworks and talk about how they say “BOOM”. Preparing your child for the multisensory experience of fireworks can really help her enjoy the experience. Discuss a plan with your child to help decrease the loud noise. This could be to bring sound reducing head phones to put over her ears. Maybe even practice wearing them before going to watch the fireworks.

Also, snuggling up with a weighted blanket and enjoying some crunchy food to munch on (or even chewing bubble gum) while watching the fireworks might help decrease fight or flight response to the loud noise.

If possible, it is probably a good idea to be as far away from the fireworks as possible to reduce the intensity of the sound. So, maybe you could watch the fireworks from the new baseball stadium or Romare Park in Charlotte.  Another idea could be to watch the fireworks from inside a building such as a near by restaurant.

Click to read more about auditory defensiveness in another post by Melissa Petcu. She or another Occupational Therapist is available for a free phone consultation. 


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