For the weekend that’s in it, Im sharing my tips for planning a birthday party for your sensory child.
🚸Firstly, you need to think about your child’s sensory profile, are they a seeker, avoider or mixed.
🎊 You need to prepare them for the party. Let them know when, with who and what is planned.
📍 Think about the location! If your child is a sensory seeker they may crave movement and stimulation so something like a cinema party might be difficult for them.
For the sensory avoider who may struggle with sound or tactile stimulation, a high energy play centre can be too overwhelming. They may prefer a movie or lego party at home with a smaller number of guests.
🏆Party Games! If winning and losing is difficult for your child aim for games which emphasis enjoyment versus competition e.g. obstacle courses, arts and crafts.
🕑Consider the time of day for the party, how long your child can handle the sensory input and somewhere/something to help calm them down afterwards. If your child cannot cope with stimulation for long consider having a shorter party.
🍰Think about party food? Parties where the food is brought out when it is ready to be eaten may suit best as Avoiders will not have the foods’ smells to deal with for long. Also cold food maybe better, as it is dry and less messy for hands.
🎧 On the day of the party try when possible to follow your childs sensory diet. Make sure to have your sensory tools such as chewy tubes, ear defender etc easily available. Try and engage your child in deep pressure touch activities (which are calming and regulating) before and after the party.
👏🚫 Singing happy birthday! If your child is auditory sensitive aim to sing in a whisper tone and cue guests to avoid loud clapping.
👷 Have help, delegate jobs so that you are free to support your child in this sensory experience.
😌On a final note, be aware of co-regulation. Co-Regulation is when a person feeds off of the state of regulation of those around them. Children are like regulating sponges! They sense it all and they feel the stress of others. A child with sensory differences often relies on those around them to help “co-anchor and co-regulate” and to help achieve and maintain a state of self regulation. It is so important as a parent to be a calm co-anchor and co-regulator in all situations.
#leanbhOccupationalTherapy #OT #sensoryPartyTips #SPD