February 1, 2024

Top 5 ways to Prepare your Child with SPD for a Birthday Party

For many children, the best part of a birthday party is running around playing with lots of friends and family, eating birthday cake, popping balloons, tearing apart wrapping paper, and wearing party hats!

For many children, the best part of a birthday party is running around playing with lots of friends and family, eating birthday cake, popping balloons,  tearing apart wrapping paper, and wearing party hats! However, for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), all of these events may be extremely overwhelming and hard to take in. Below are some tips to try and make the party scene more enjoyable for everyone:

5 Tips To Prepare Your Child’s Sensory System For A Party

1. Practice practice practice: Practice birthday party activities that may be over-stimulating for your child when at home, in a safe environment. This will best prepare them for what songs and games may be part of the actual birthday party (e.g. practice blowing up/playing with balloons; practice singing “happy birthday” with the family; practice playing with party favors/horns/noise makers).

2. Talk: Talk with your child about where the party will be held (e.g. home; restaurant; community venue) and what she will be doing. When a child is well prepared about anything that will or might happen, she will feel more in control and aware of what is going to happen, and hopefully more excited to participate with their peers

3. Take a Break: Talk with your child about ways to “take a break” if he begins to feel overwhelmed (e.g. go get a drink of water, step outside with an adult for a breath of fresh air, chew a piece of gum, use the restroom, do frog jumps in an open hallway).

4. Comfort item: Help your child to choose a comfort item to bring along; if it’s small enough, he can even keep it right in his pocket (e.g. small stuffed animal/blanket; a small toy, such as a car; a squeeze toy, such as a stress ball or a balloon filled with beans/rice/sand).

5. Get involved: Allow your child to help you choose the birthday gift and/or help to wrap the gift, so that he or she feels involved and excited about the birthday process, and can help to choose a gift they feel the birthday girl/boy would like!

Download our Guide for Families

We know that choosing a local ABA facility can be a hard decision. We’ve created an informational guide to help you understand more about the questions you should be asking while meeting with different providers.

Although we talk about our services here, our highest goal is for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about picking a provider that is the best fit for your needs. You are making a decision that will impact the entire trajectory of your child’s life!
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The cover of the NSPT Guide for Families, which helps families to figure out the questions to ask when picking an ABA provider.

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