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  • Chelsea Williams

Top tips for parents planning an outdoor birthday party for their autistic child

Outdoor birthday parties for children are a great option for when the weather is favourable, and have become increasingly popular since the Covid pandemic. But as any parent of an autistic child probably knows, the overstimulation that large social gatherings can bring makes party planning particularly stressful. This doesn’t mean parties are a no-go, though – it just takes more careful preparation. Here are some top tips to ensure things run smoothly.

Keep it short and sweet

Having many people around can make autistic children feel overwhelmed, so it’s best to stick to a small number of guests, especially if it’s the first time you’re having a party like this. A smaller gathering means it is more likely to be on the quieter side, making it more manageable for autistic children, who can find loud noises off-putting. It’s also a good idea to keep the party brief. So, rather than hosting a day-long event, plan the time around your child’s attention span and energy levels, and be prepared to cut it short if it’s not quite working out on the day.

Photo by Victoria Rodriguez on Unsplash

Go somewhere familiar

People with autism value routine and familiar surroundings, so it’s vital to keep this in mind when planning your child’s party. Hosting it in your own garden or a family member’s outdoor space could be a great option. But if you’d prefer somewhere away from home, it helps if it’s a place your child knows well, like a local park or garden. This is because to keep an autistic child feeling safe and calm at your outdoor party, it’s important they know what to expect, so even simple things like knowing where the toilets are or where the exit is can help them feel more at ease. So if you choose a party venue your child has never been to, you might want to try some practice runs by visiting the location a few times beforehand to help familiarise your child with it before the big day comes around.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Plan sensory-friendly activities

Being outdoors can have many positive effects on your child’s development, but it’s important to plan activities that won’t lead to unnecessary stress for your autistic child. Excessive noise can cause sensory overload, so it’s best to avoid things like fireworks and loud music. Choose softer music instead, and perhaps go equipped with noise-cancelling headphones to help your child better handle the noise levels. You might also want to establish a ‘quiet zone’ they can escape to for a short while if need be, like a quiet room or even your car. Arts and crafts are a great option for entertainment because children can set their own pace, as are quieter activities like puzzles and lego. As with choosing a venue, it’s best to opt for activities you know your child already knows and likes.

Photo by Jay Chen on Unsplash

Planning an autism-friendly children's party can be challenging. But keeping these tips in mind will help you feel more confident to throw a memorable outdoor birthday party your child will be comfortable with and enjoy.


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Miembro desconocido
01 dic 2023

Planning an outdoor birthday party for an autistic child? Tayf Aziz Center offers invaluable tips for parents to make it a memorable event. From sensory-friendly activities to considering quiet spaces, their expert advice ensures a joyful celebration catered to your child's needs.

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