Skip to main content

5 Tips for Helping Your Neurodiverse Family Member with Fireworks

Fireworks are a fun way to celebrate summer events, whether a family barbeque or a Fourth of July celebration, but for neurodiverse individuals, this celebration can sometimes be challenging. With that in mind, here are some tips to help make your family’s summer firework experiences more enjoyable.

1. Be Flexible

Remember that every family member doesn’t have to engage in every event. For example, bright lights and loud noises can be painful to a neurodiverse family member, and allowing a family member to skip this event can reduce stress for everyone involved.

2. Prepare Sensory Supports

For many reasons, neurodiverse family members may want to be present during a firework show. If that is the case, consider having sensory supports on-hand, which can include noise-canceling headphones or sunglasses to help lessen sensory overload and turn the night into a fun, memorable experience for everyone.

3. Explain and Offer Structure

Some neurodiverse individuals benefit from explanations and a structure so they can prepare for the day ahead, and the answer to why something is happening is sometimes the most important. Neurotypical learners can take for granted the ability to fill in the unspoken social rules, but sometimes that can be challenging for neurodiverse individuals. Also, consider providing a schedule that includes when and where the fireworks happen, how long they will take and who will be there so they can further prepare themselves.

4. Allow Early Exposure

Similar to a simplified version of exposure therapy, sometimes exposing a neurodiverse family member to fireworks beforehand on a computer, TV screen or even from a distance can let them know what lights and sounds to expect. If this goes well, maybe consider graded exposure by moving them closer or increasing the volume, but remember that every step forward is a success!

5. Set Goals and Celebrate Every Success

Setting up smaller goals like five minutes of participation and building tolerance is a big step forward and should be celebrated accordingly. But don’t be discouraged if it takes a few years to build up to a whole firework show. Remember, success can be watching a single firework this summer, even online!

Recent Posts

How Visual Supports Can Improve Your Neurodiverse Child’s Daily Life

Are you looking to improve your neurodiverse child’s daily life? We suggest creating visual supports! Visual supports help with breaking down the language comprehension barrier that many individuals with Autism […]

Tips for Good Verbal Communication with a Neurodiverse Child

Adjust Your Communication Style for a Neurodiverse Individual

This “Call to Action” is for anyone who has a neurodiverse person in their life that is a verbal communicator and could benefit from tips on how to have a […]

better speed and hearing wall in fbh office

Better Speech and Hearing Month

What is “Better Speech and Hearing Month”? In the month of May, “Better Speech and Hearing Month” is celebrated to raise awareness about communication disorders and hearing health. This month […]