Autism-Friendly Birthday Parties
By Michelle Ibarra | June 15, 2019
Birthday parties and surprises are one of the best memories that we can carry from childhood. Lots of friends, candies, cake, gifts, and in some cases clowns and recreational activities. For most children, their birthday is one of the most exciting days of the year. Unfortunately, for families on the spectrum, birthday parties can represent everything but fun.
The following tips will help you create an autism-friendly party that will be fun for everybody!
Tips for Planning an Autism-Friendly Party
1.- Thematic Party: Picking a topic that your child loves is key to their involvement in the party. Themes like Legos, Thomas The Engine, Horses, or trains are among the most popular requests in ASD children.
2.- Familiar Location: Many parents on the spectrum take the decision of not making their child’s birthday party at their house because they know that their child might run away to his/her room to hide. Choosing a completely new place can also be overwhelming and challenging. This is the reason why it is recommendable to pick a place where your child feels comfortable and happy. Places like Build a Bear, Crafts Studio, or even a bowling alley can be good choices to make the celebration happen.
3.- Pick The Right Guests: Inviting the right people to your child’s party is crucial to their involvement and fun. Keeping celebrations small is a good idea when it comes to avoiding crowds and extremely noisy situations. Some parents like the idea of inviting only families on the spectrum to create a comfortable atmosphere, others like to include family members and neurotypical children from their school and neighborhood. However, make sure to invite only people that your child is comfortable with, and remember to keep it small.
4.- Favorite Activities: Plan activities that you know your child finds enjoyable and fun. If he/she likes slime, you can include the children into making their own slime at the party. If your child loves cooking, you can have a make your own little pizza activity. You name it, the point is to have a celebrational day where it’s all about the stuff he/she enjoys.
5.- Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free: Since children on the spectrum have really strict diets, you might need to change to healthier alternatives for snacks and cake. Instead of cracking your guests on sugar, you can offer them fruits and veggie trays for the children to enjoy before the cake.
For the cake, you can look for a dairy-free, sugar-free option, or even opt for a sugar-free dairy-free ice cream cake. We also encourage you to offer the food after activities have been completed, to avoid tummy pain or nausea.
6.- Non-Candy Partygoers: Traditionally, partygoers tend to be filled with candy and chocolate. A good Asd-Friendly alternative to this is to fill them with non-eatable stuff. Things like bubbles, stickers, temporary tattoos, bracelets, and even small balls are good choices to stick to the tradition in a healthy way. Avoiding noisy toys like whistles, scarecrows, and noisemakers is also a good thing to consider.
7.- Have fun: As parents, it is normal that we want to make the most out of everything for our children, however, it is important to remember that the purpose of the party is to have fun. Let go of the need to want things to be perfect and embrace the beautiful memories that you are creating with your little one. Remember, it’s your child’s party and the goal is to make him/her feel loved and celebrated.
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with Stem Cell Therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation and improving brain function. We also created an autistic community on Facebook that is destined to offer support and companionship for ASD parents and their families on their journey.
Remember, you are not alone!
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