Do you have a child with sensory issues that has trouble enjoying birthday parties? Has your child ever been overwhelmed at a birthday party or you had to leave because it’s too much noise, stimulation, etc?
Speaking from a parent’s perspective, birthday parties have definitely been a challenge in my past. Birthday parties that are loud and overstimulating have historically been more difficult for me as a parent. I have also had challenges at parties where my young child had to “sit and listen” for extended periods of time to an entertainer.
I really enjoyed this book, I Like Birthdays…It’s the parties I’m not sure about! by Laurie Renke because it addresses a child’s difficulty with birthday parties. The book discusses the loud sounds that a balloon makes when it pops, not wanting to wear a party hat, giving away the birthday present to a friend (that they really want to keep themselves), and being overwhelmed with the amount of children at a party. With birthday parties filling up most of parents weekends, a child who has to deal with this kind of sensory overload can be overwhelming, especially if it occurs once or twice on a weekend. I like the end of the book, when the child in the book suggests that he likes birthdays, but would rather celebrate his friend’s birthday with just the two of them where it’s nice and quiet. This book can be also used as a tool to help other children and adults understand what a child may go through at a party and why it’s so difficult.
Start a discussion with your child about what they like and don’t like about a party. Discuss strategies on how your child can deal with certain situations and whether they want to attend or not. For example, if the party will be loud and overstimulating, discuss taking breaks from the party by leaving for a couple of minutes and then returning when they are ready. I Like Birthdays…It’s the parties I’m not sure about! is a great book to have as part of your library.
The author, Laurie Renke is founder and national coordinator of SPD Parent Connections, a network that provides support, information and understanding to anyone living with a child who has a SPD (sensory processing disorder) or who want to learn more about developmental disorders.
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