All Things Sensory by Harkla

#177 - Sensory Strategies for Birthday Parties

November 03, 2021 Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L Episode 177
All Things Sensory by Harkla
#177 - Sensory Strategies for Birthday Parties
Show Notes

You don't have to be sensory sensitive to feel the effects of a lively children's party, but that amount of sensory input may not be just fun and games for your kiddo. Perhaps they might experience some dysregulation before, during, or hours or days afterward. 

In this episode, we dive into the huge amount of stimuli that make up the party experience (and there are a lot), and outline the variety of ways these could be affecting your child. 

Then we talk about some strategies and communication tools you can use to help prepare for the party, including tips for open communication with the host. 

There are also excellent toys, weighted items and specific clothing that you can use to create your very own sensory toolbox for going to birthday parties. With just a little preparation, flexibility, and honesty, there are lots of things you can do to make the party enjoyable for your little one. 

Finally, we dig deep into our exciting new Q&A section at the end of the episode, discussing working with a young one who blinks a lot when there are loud noises, as well as taking care of yourself.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • There are many different sensory components at birthday parties.
  • The stimulus from kids' birthday parties can be draining for adults too.
  • Providing various strategies to prepare for these kinds of events.
  • Communicating with your host what you'd like to do to help you keep your child regulated and having fun.
  • What therapy items you could take with you to the party.
  • Providing a social story template free resource for you to download and use.
  • When is a good time to leave?
  • The benefits of using a safe word.
  • Using honesty and adaptability can allow lots of options for an enjoyable party.
  • How to plan and what to provide if you are the host.
  • Q&A section: What to do to help your sensory system as an adult? What does it mean when my little one blinks a lot when they hear loud sounds?

Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.

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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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Harkla “Sensory” 10% Discount Code
University of Washington Autism Center
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