Supporting Autistic Children on St Patrick's Day!
St Patrick's Day is a great day out for the whole family! However, the change is routine, new events and noise can sometimes cause anxiety for children. Help reduce the stress by checking out our tips below!
See our video full of tips on how to support children at the St Patrick's Day parade here!
Prepare children for the day in advance
While celebration days are lots of fun they can also be confusing and stressful for some children. To help reduce stress an anxiety, prepare your child for the events of the day in advance. A nice way to do this is to casually bring up the topic a few times before the day itself, try to engage your child in the conversation and see if they have any questions about how it might work.
A visual timetable can also be very helpful for explaining the order that things are going to happen in -consider it like a map of the day for your child! A first/then card with visuals of what is happening now and next can also be helpful to have with you.
Plan your route and viewpoint for the parade
Attending parades in very exciting for children, however the noise and crowds can sometimes be overwhelming for some children. Consider how you will get to the parade and where would be a good viewpoint. Arriving well in advance can also help to avoid the crowds and ensure things go to plan. If your child finds noisy environments difficult consider bringing headphones.
Have a quiet space identified for breaks
Children often need a quiet place to rest and regulate in. Consider what shops/coffee shops/restaurants/parks might be able to offer your child some space away from the event to recharge in if needed.
Bring a bag with activities and treats
There is often a lot of waiting involved in days out. This can be difficult for children, bring a bag full of interesting activities that they can do on the go. It is also a good idea to bring things which help them to regulate.
Have a great Saint Patrick's Day!