4th of July Survival Kit

The 4th of July can be very overstimulating for those with autism or sensory processing disorder.  Between our two boys we have figured this holiday out and have developed a very strategic plan.  Here’s our top five survival items for a successful parade!  What are your go-to items?


5. Blanket


We often celebrate the 4th of July in Thomaston  for their wonderful parade and fireworks display.  To get a good spot for the parade  (and parking!) you often have to arrive 30-60 minutes prior to the parade starting.  So really a big part of our survival kit is a blanket!  Both of my boys love blankets and find them as security items.  They can lay down on them (because sitting and standing can be taxing when you have poor muscle tone) and relax before the parade starts.

4. Favorite Toys

4thofjuly1On the same theme as number 1, bring those favorite toys that calm.  Let him stim on it and peer out of his peripheral vision.  As long as it’s calming and helps him get ready for a busy and loud day.

3. Something Cold

4thofjuly3 Ice pops will do.  This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my two boys.  Brian couldn’t figure out how to get to the bottom of his ice pop so his big brother helped him out.  It’s obviously always pretty hot in July here in Maine (well at least for us Mainers), but I believe it’s intensified for Brian.  He doesn’t handle heat well and is always running higher than everyone around him.  So lots and lots and lots of water!

2. Sun Protection


Duh!  Sun protection is so important for all of us!  Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses (though I don’t think Corbin’s in this picture is given him much protection).  With sensory processing issues the brightness of the sun is really annoying!  So the glasses and hat have dual purposes.

…and the last and most important…

1. Noise-Canceling Headphones


I really feel like I should be getting paid something for how often I promote noise-canceling headphones.  I talk about them on facebook, I pass the info on to clients, and they are always a part of our every day survival kit!  We use the 3M Peltor Junior Earmuff which are super affordable on Amazon.  Parades are loud and we would never survive a parade without these.  They also come in handy for the fireworks!

Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.