TEXAS -- The Fourth of July can be a lot of fun but getting through it can be nerve-wracking for families of children with autism.
- Kids with autism can be sensitive to Fourth of July fireworks
- Parents encouraged to explain what will happen
- Noise-cancelling headphones also an option
Ten-year-old Jacob Jackson says his first experience with fireworks was overwhelming.
“When we got there it was crammed up, and when the fireworks started I just flipped,” he said.
“So we had to leave very quickly once the fireworks started. It was very loud for him and overwhelming,” said Leslie Jackson, Jacob’s mom.
Jacquie Benestante with the Autism Society of Texas says experiences vary from person to person.
“So when we would just be like, ‘Oh, that siren is annoying. It is like knitting needles in your ear.’ It’s just kind of a heightened level of feeling and experience,” she said.
Kids with sensory sensitivities can still have a blast on the Fourth of July but people are urged to be considerate and take certain things into account.
Parents are encouraged to let children know what will happen ahead of time, perhaps show them clips of past fireworks displays.
Noise-cancelling headphones may also help kids who want to see fireworks but not hear them.
“If you have noise-cancelling headphones you are basically not going to hear anything from the fireworks but you will still get to experience all the fireworks,” Jacob said.