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Tips To A Sensory-Friendly New Year's Eve
By Mike Camunas


Ring in the new year with fun and less worry.

Many people celebrate ringing in the new year differently at midnight on New Year's Eve. Most shoot off or look at fireworks, while many others have parties to watch the ball drop then party into the morning hours. But not everyone can do that, especially those with autism or sensory processing disorder.

Most times, parents and families of those kids are going to stay home to avoid unnecessary overwhelming and frightening or even disrupting a child's routine. Though this can still be problematic not only because of the loud fireworks heard throughout the night, but they could get bored or anxious being stuck inside.

Here are some tips to still have an enjoyable New Year’s Eve without having any one with autism sacrifice their enjoyment.

1. Watch Videos Of Fireworks Instead

Understandably, there will be plenty of channels that will show fireworks celebrations, but try to get some recordings of fireworks that way you can control what the child sees and, ultimately, hears, too. If you have a recording of fireworks, you’ll be able to view it beforehand and know just how much your child can or can’t watch.

2. Countdown To Noon Instead Of Midnight

Depending on the child’s age, he or she is most likely not going to be staying up till midnight anyway to see the ball drop or celebrate the stroke of midnight. Why not change it up so he or she CAN participate and do a countdown to Noon? This way he or she won’t feel left out when staying up past their bedtime is out of the question.

3. Have A Small & Quiet Balloon Or Confetti Drop

This one is pretty simple and can be done with celebrating at Noon. Just get a drawstring trash bag and fill it with balloons or confetti or streamers or all of the above and release it at the end of the Noon Countdown. Its gives the kids a fun way to celebrate just like being at loud party that would spray confetti.

4. Make A Sensory Bin Or Bottle With A New Year’s Theme

If you include New Year’s items such as confetti and streamers and the like, or even make a calming sensory bottle with confetti in the water, this is nice way to still celebrate while giving the child an outlet to calm down, if necessary.

5. Grab A Weighted Blanket For A Family Movie Night

Hey, it doesn’t have to be ALL fireworks and celebrating loudly. Grab a blanket — a weighted blanket to help with calmness — and watch their favorite movie as a family. This is a good way to try to keep their minds off the fireworks and other loud noises.