What’s the 4th of July like for people with Autism?

What’s the 4th of July like for people with Autism?

Celebrating America’s birthday can be fun. Including those on the Autism spectrum. But imagine if everywhere you turned, people were making noises as loud as a bomb? It hurt your ears and felt like a physical assault!  It was NOT fun for you! Your anxiety level felt as if a big truck was speeding towards you. You couldn’t run. Get out of the way. Similar to being in a minefield. If you tried to tell others what it felt like, they said you were silly, imagining things, crazy, or that it wasn’t “that loud.” Having your routine disrupted added to the anxiety. And also there was loud music, people shouting, dogs barking,. You might not be able to tell when the next loud noise was going to come from. Or when. How close or far away.  And you were ridiculed made fun of and prevented from covering your ears to protect yourself. If you said-that is if you could speak at all-those around you didn’t believe you. If all this sensory overload led to a meltdown, you were laughed at, punished, and maybe kept from doing the only things that filtered out the assault.  Perhaps accused of ruining everybody else’s “fun.” Then came fireworks displays that are as loud as a jet plane. While the blow to your system continues without let up. That is what Independence day can be like for somebody with Autism. While some of the festivities may prove to be enjoyable, please be considerate. Especially around sensory sensitive children. Adults can walk away from the noise. Children-often taken to a park or other location-can’t.

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