Creating an Autism-Friendly Memorial Day: Tips for a Fun and Safe Celebration

Creating an Autism-Friendly Memorial Day: Tips for a Fun and Safe Celebration

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have served our country. It’s also a day filled with family gatherings, barbecues, and outdoor activities. For families with children who have autism or other developmental diagnoses, creating a sensory-friendly Memorial Day celebration is essential to ensure everyone can participate and enjoy the day. At Circle City ABA, we’re dedicated to supporting families and making holidays inclusive and enjoyable. Here are some tips for planning an autism-friendly Memorial Day.

Plan Ahead for Sensory-Friendly Memorial Day Celebrations

Preparation is key to creating a comfortable environment for children with autism. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Create a Structured Schedule

Children with autism often thrive on routine and predictability. Create a visual schedule of the day’s events using pictures or icons. This helps set expectations and reduces anxiety about what will happen next. Include times for activities, meals, and breaks.

2. Choose the Right Location

Select a location that minimizes sensory overload. If hosting at home, ensure there are quiet areas where your child can retreat if they feel overwhelmed. If attending a public event, scout out the venue in advance to identify quieter spots.

3. Prepare for Sensory Sensitivities

Consider your child’s sensory preferences and sensitivities. Pack essential items like noise-canceling headphones, sunglasses, and sensory toys. If your child is sensitive to loud noises, such as fireworks, plan to watch from a distance or provide ear protection.

Activities for an Autism-Friendly Memorial Day

Engaging activities can make Memorial Day enjoyable and inclusive for children with autism. Here are some sensory-friendly Memorial Day celebration ideas:

1. Patriotic Crafts

Set up a craft station with activities like flag painting, making red, white, and blue bead bracelets, or creating patriotic windsocks. These activities can be done at your own pace and adapted to suit your child’s interests and abilities.

2. Outdoor Play

Plan outdoor games that are inclusive and easy to modify. Games like a sensory scavenger hunt, water balloon toss, or a nature walk can be fun and engaging. Ensure the activities are low-key and allow for breaks as needed.

3. Family BBQ

Host a family barbecue with sensory-friendly food options. Keep in mind your child’s dietary preferences and needs. Provide familiar foods alongside traditional barbecue items. Create a quiet dining area where your child can eat comfortably without overwhelming noise and activity.

4. Memorial Day Parade

If attending a Memorial Day parade, prepare in advance. Arrive early to secure a good spot, preferably in a quieter area. Bring along sensory tools and snacks. Consider the duration and have an exit plan if your child becomes overstimulated.

Safety Tips for a Memorable Memorial Day

Ensuring safety is paramount during any holiday celebration. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Supervision

Maintain close supervision, especially during outdoor activities and in crowded places. Assign a responsible adult to watch your child at all times.

2. Identification

Have your child wear an ID bracelet or carry an ID card with their name, emergency contact information, and any relevant medical details. This is crucial in case you get separated.

3. Emergency Plan

Develop an emergency plan and communicate it to family members and caregivers. Know where the nearest exits are, and establish a meeting point in case of separation.

4. Sun and Heat Protection

Ensure your child stays hydrated and protected from the sun. Apply sunscreen regularly, provide hats and sunglasses, and encourage frequent breaks in the shade.

Involve Everyone in the Planning

An inclusive Memorial Day celebration involves everyone. Include your child in the planning process to understand their preferences and comfort levels. Encourage family members to participate in creating a supportive and enjoyable environment.

Enjoy Memorial Day Celebrations

At Circle City ABA, we believe that every child deserves to enjoy holidays and special occasions. By planning ahead and incorporating sensory-friendly activities, you can create a fun and safe Memorial Day for children with autism and other developmental diagnoses. With these autism-friendly Memorial Day tips, your celebration can be enjoyable for the entire family. For more resources and support, please contact us or visit our website. We’re here to help you create memorable and inclusive experiences for your loved ones.

About Circle City ABA

Circle City ABA passionately nurtures progress through play with ABA therapy. We develop programs and services specifically designed for each child. Our child-centered, compassionate approach to therapy brings family goals and clinical best practices in tandem to help kids learn and grow. We’ll work together to define success and help your child achieve it. Contact our admissions team for more information on our services and how we can support you and your child. Find a location near you! We serve ArizonaGeorgiaIndianaIowa, and Nebraska

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About the Author

Heather de Jong

Heather de Jong is an accomplished Marketing & Communications Manager known for her expertise in the I/DD field. With a deep passion for empowering individuals with disabilities, Heather leverages her expertise in marketing and communications to raise awareness about the importance of ABA therapy in improving the lives of children on the autism spectrum.

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