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It’s that time of the year where we gather with our family and friends to celebrate the festival of lights. While all of us look forward to this time of the year, the festival season can be daunting for our children with special needs, who thrive on routine and consistency, and have sensory sensitivities. Here are some things we can do to enjoy a sensory-friendly Diwali with our little ones:

  1. Plan ahead – Festival time is a busy time. Plan ahead for anything your child might need during this time, so that you can relax and enjoy it with your child.
  2. Prepare your child – Prepare your child for the upcoming holiday by letting them know what to expect during the holiday. This includes informing your child beforehand of any events that will be taking place and any guests that might be visiting. You can use visual schedules and social stories to help prepare your child.
  3. Prepare your guests – If you have any guests visiting you during the holiday season, be sure to sensitize them to your child’s needs. This will ensure that they don’t upset your child inadvertently.
  4. Stick to a routine – Festival time can be a chaotic time for children with special needs, who thrive on routine and consistency. It is, therefore, important to stick as closely as possible to your child’s usual routine, and inform your child beforehand if there are going to be any changes in routine.
  5. Stick with the familiar – The festival season comes with new experiences for your child. Avoid introducing your child to anything else that is new during this time, be it new foods, new clothes, new skills, new activities, or new routines to keep your child from feeing overwhelmed
  6. Take care of sensory needs – Festival time is filled with new sights, sounds, textures, and smells, and can be overwhelming for your child with sensory sensitivities. Here are some things you can do to have a sensory-friendly Diwali with your child –
    • Prepare food that your child likes along with the Diwali sweets and savories.
    • Use earplugs or noise-cancellation headphones to protect from loud sounds.
    • Avoid bright or flashing lights if your child is bothered by them.
    • Avoid strong scents if your child is sensitive to smells.
    • When buying new clothes, make sure your child finds them comfortable to wear, and let your child wear comfortable clothes during the festival season.
  7. Give your child space – If you notice that your child is feeling overwhelmed, please take him or her away from all the activity to a quiet place where he or she can unwind and recharge.

Wish you and your family a Happy sensory-friendly Diwali!

To know more about how to manage sensory issues, you can check our articles on ‘How can parents manage sensory integration issues observed in some children with Autism?’, ‘Sensory issues in children with Down syndrome’. 

If you have questions about Autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, or other intellectual disabilities, or have concerns about developmental delays in a child, the Nayi Disha team is here to help. For any questions or queries, please contact our FREE Helpline at 844-844-8996. You can call or what’s app us. Our counselors speak different languages including English, Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, and Bengali. 

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this article is for information purposes only.

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