Independence Day for Sensory Kids

Guest Authored by Heather F, MS, OTR/L

Independence Day is coming and the sounds of experimental fireworks can already be heard around Chicagoland. It can be an exciting time, but also a tricky time for some parents and kids.  Does your child cover their ears when they hear loud or unexpected sounds?  Do they cover their eyes or blink a lot when they transition into a brightly lit area?  Can they become shut down or revved up around large groups of people? If this describes your child, we have provided some helpful suggestions to help you prepare for the holiday.

It is very common for children who have sensory processing and modulation issues to have a difficult time during the 4th of July, specifically during parades and fireworks. Children depend on you for support during these times, so it is important to be aware of your child’s needs and solutions to help them.  These helpful tips from an Eyas Landing Occupational Therapist are designed to make sure you and your child are ready to celebrate the 4th of July with the rest of the family.

Get their bodies ready before going to an event.

Have your child engage in activities to increase regulation through organized proprioceptive, deep pressure, and vestibular input, such as:

  • Yoga poses – mountain, river, bridge, cobra, cat, down dog, and rock poses are great and easy for most kiddos
  • Animal walks – bear walk, bunny hop, dog crawl, frog hops, etc.
  • Bubbles – have them blow the bubbles and/or have them pop the bubbles in a specific manner (pop with on finger, clap them, stomp them with your feet, etc.)
  • Go to the park – have the child climb on equipment and/or swing
  • Help out in the yard – gardening is full of heavy work activities
  • Create a mini obstacle course
  • Go swimming

Be prepared during the events.

Have supplies ready that you know will help to keep your child calm during potentially difficult situations, such as:

  • Noise canceling headphones
  • Fidget toys
  • Favorite toy that they use to help self-soothe
  • Weighted blanket/weighted lap pad
  • Sun glasses – even though it is night out, wearing sunglasses when watching fireworks can help with the intensity of the lights

Wind down after the party.

Have your child engage in calming strategies to regulate them in order to calm down before going to bed, such as:

  • Yoga poses – rock, happy baby, savasana, or legs up the wall
  • Deep belly breathing – have the child breath in so much that their belly rises – “breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth”
  • If it is calming to them, have them take a bath

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Eyas Landing is a therapy clinic with a mission to provide evidence-based and family-centered therapy services for children, adolescents, and their families. The primary goal is to deliver relationship-based interventions within the most natural environments and to empower families to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, our highly educated, compassionate staff dedicates time and expertise to create experiences that maximize therapeutic outcomes. The strength, determination, and perseverance of our clients are evident as they succeed in therapy, and ultimately in their daily lives.

Eyas Landing offers a wide range of comprehensive services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, Social Work, Family Therapy, and Neuropsych testing. Services are provided throughout the Chicagoland area via Telehealth, In-Home, and in our state of the art clinic.

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here!