For us, a lot of times family events and holiday gatherings are overwhelming for Miss Sensory. Between the high amounts of smells from food, the noise from all the people and the lack of routine getting through it is like running a marathon with her.
Summer brings out the opportunity for these to happen more often between graduations, weddings, holidays and birthdays it’s hard to go a couple of weeks without a family gathering. And sometimes, depending on what the event is it’s just better to stay home! Outdoor events work really well, and anything that requires sitting for a long time is pretty much not going to happen.
Here’s some tips to make it successful.
Go in prepared: Plan that it might go awful, make sure that you have a way out for you and your child.
Don’t feel bad if you have to leave early.
Make accommodations as needed. Eating in a crowd is a challenge for our daughter so we try to sit down away from the group.
Pack a bag for your child. Put things inside that maybe helpful. Some ideas are: a camelback water bottle, something to occupy them, and a snack. Sunglasses and ear muffs also might be a good idea.
Tag Team with your spouse. If there is an option for you and your spouse to take turns with your child outside playing or playing somewhere close but away from the large group.
Realize that sometimes in the middle of it when it seems like your child is on the verge of meltdown give your child the opportunity to get through it. Realize that this is a great chance to learn. After all, part of our responsibility as parents is teaching them to be socially appropriate. Although, I love to avoid social situations with Miss Sensory, I am not helping her learn how to cope in them by doing that. And, I can’t avoid my family altogether. At the end of the day, making it through a family event and having it be successful we are all pretty wiped out. Sometimes we are amazed at Miss Sensory’s ability to cope and to not have a meltdown in social situations. VICTORY!