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Autism, Aspergers and Fireworks

By Aaron Tanner

· Fireworks,4th of July,Independence Day,Autism,Aspergers

This Thursday marks 243 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed, officially forming the United States of America. Many people in this country celebrate the holiday by grilling out, attending festivals, or relaxing by the lake or pool.

For those familiar with American customs, the 4th of July usually means fireworks. While seeing gunpowder shot into the sky into many beautiful colors is mesmerizing, for someone with sensory deficiencies, like is the case with many people on the Autism spectrum, fireworks can be painful and lead to a meltdown.

I used to be terrified of fireworks as a child because the sounds they made were painful. As I have gotten older, fireworks are not as big a sensory problem as in my younger years. Even though there is a fireworks display near my house in a park, I often stand a long distance away from the event and have to wear sturdy earplugs to watch the show.

My reasoning behind fireworks not being as intense as other stimuli is because the sound is coming from one source, in this case, a firework. Whereas at a party, several different conversations often congeal into a noise of confusion and can lead to sensory overload and meltdowns. Being outside allows the sound of fireworks to quickly escape into the atmosphere whereas an indoor event with many different conversations going on at the same time gets trapped inside, so the sound stays inside in confined spaces, increasing the likelihood of sensory overload.

If the local firework show is too much for someone on the spectrum, an alternative is watching fireworks on TV, such as the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular from New York City on NBC and other streaming services. This way, one can enjoy fireworks in a safe and controlled environment, and one can control the volume.

Here are a couple of other sites with suggestions for helping those on the Autism Spectrum enjoy Independence Day.

Here are a couple of other sites with suggestions for helping those on the Autism Spectrum enjoy Independence Day. Comment below about your plans for Independence Day and check out my other blog on the Tennessee Valley Unite page.

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