It’s almost here, the one night of the year that has my son crawling around on the floor like a solider in combat.
The 5th of November is bonfire night and as much as Little man likes watching the fireworks at a distance from the safety and comfort of the living room window, it’s a whole different ball game when outside.
In a way I’m extremely thankful that we know it’s on the way so we can therefore avoid being outside on that evening. However I’ve noticed that the fireworks are already lighting up our skies.
That’s when It’s most difficult, when he doesn’t expect it. He will flip out and quite literally drop down to the ground. It’s not only the loud whistling, sizzling & loud bangs that frighten him, his also frighten that they are falling from the sky on top of him.
Again I think that much of this comes as a result of his sensory processing, the way in which his senses work. His also got a fear of tall buildings fearing that they will fall and flatten him. I remember speaking to the occupational therapist about this issue who confirmed that it was is in-fact something to do with his sensory processing! It actually has a name which is “Proprioceptive Dysfunction”
Let me explain a little… We all have a range of senses and one of these sense is our proprioceptive sense which works by feeding the brain information that tells us about movement, and where our body position is in space.
When we received Little man’s OT report it was clear that he had difficulties within all his senses which in some ways made me feel quite sad.
Well, if your child has difficulties in the sense his Proprioceptive sense isn’t processing as it should be then they will likely experience the difficulties that Little man does. He states that looking at tall building makes his head spin and everything moves around him making him feel that his feet are no longer on the ground. This kinda leads me to believe that when Little man looks up at the fireworks directly above him in the sky, as they explode and drop lower he becomes confused and is unable to sense how near or far the firework actually is.
The above combined with the loudness of a fire display is enough to send him crazy.
Note: Little man loves sparklers and will happily hold one, this is also confirmation that yes, his fear in fireworks are a sensory problem.
I remember at the beginning of the year, I was out with the children shopping then we met up with a friend to grab something to eat. It was a freezing evening in January so nowhere near November. Can you imagine his horror as we stepped out the restaurant and onto the street where the sky suddenly turned into a mass of beautiful golds and pink as a spectacular fireworks display took affect above. We were already on route to my friends card who was parked a good five minutes up the world. The shops in the high-street were now closed and the restaurant was now way back in the distance! With no place to run he did what he does best in such a situation, he drops. My son is no “tiny little man” believe me his grown. He was ten at the time, far to big to pick up, throw over my shoulder and make a running bid for the car. Like I guessed Little man refused point-blank to get up from the ground and proceeded to crawl instead.
Can you imagine the looks on the faces of those passing by, some people really are rude sometimes when they point and stare, (is it entertaining seeing a child in distress)?
My friend ran for the car which we finally got him in, but my goodness it was extremely stressful for him and a memory that will stick with me forever more.
Yesterday fireworks began going off right outside the living room widow. Little man ran towards the window where he stayed and enjoyed the show in till they had disappeared. He then turned and said to me, “Lucky we weren’t outside mum”
We have been to a few well organised public displays but always get the same result.
This year I think we will stay indoors, grab some toffee apples and lemonade and put some comfy cushions up at the living room window.
Lets just hope we are not caught unaware in the run up to the big night.
The NAS have created a list of tips for bonfire night aimed at families with children with autism
This can be found by clicking HERE
If anyone has any tips of their own, do please let us know in a comment.