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We receive information through seven senses, one of which is through the auditory or ‘hearing’ sense. Our auditory systems are an integral part of how we interpret our environment. Made up of two subsystems – the peripheral auditory system (outer ear, middle ear and inner ear) and the central auditory system, they work together to take in, process and respond to information received from the environment. However, those with Sensory Processing Difficulties may be under or over-sensitive to auditory stimuli, which can make everyday life situations more challenging. For example, if your child has an over-responsive auditory system, then it may be more difficult to filter out background noise, and some noises may also appear louder to them. Given this, it is easy to see how loud or sudden noises such as fireworks can trigger negative responses in a child with sensory processing difficulties.
For many, bonfire night is an enjoyable event. However, for those with an over-responsive auditory system (and for those around them), bonfire night can be very stressful. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. Let’s look at some strategies that can be used to minimise the stress and reduce the meltdowns this year.
Although fireworks are not something that can be eliminated, bonfire night is something that we can expect every year and therefore we can plan for. Fireworks are not limited to 5th November. But, we do have time to prepare!
Future Steps Occupational Therapist