Tag Archives: fireworks

Growing up with Autism

I’ve started to notice my daughter’s Autism progressing more. She’s more sound sensitive, even more scared of the washer, blender, and vacuum cleaner than she was before. The sounds of fireworks terrify her to the point she’s screaming with fright. She’s even more attractive to things with bright, flashing lights, like glow sticks or the light up wands you would find at Halloween or at concession stands at parades or carnivals.

Last night we had our Christmas parade here in Bryant, my hometown. I didn’t take her due to her reaction to the Christmas parade we went to in Benton the night before;  Benton is the town next to us. She showed interest in the floats, decorated with bright Christmas lights, with cheerful people waving and shouting ‘Merry Christmas’. My daughter cheered and waved back at each one as they passed by us. Then she started to push away when the band started coming near us. I calmly walked behind the crowd of people that was around us, but started to dance along with the band’s music, showing her that it was okay.

As soon as the band passed by I put her up on top of my shoulders, where she would sit for majority of the parade. She resumed her clapping, waving, and cheering at the brightly lit floats driving past us, until the motorcycles started to approach us. She started to scream and try to climb down from my shoulders. I cuddled her as best I could, trying to comfort her as she hid her head in my chest, covering her ears and whimpering. I placed my hand over her head, bringing her into my chest and covering her ears as best as I could, telling her all will be okay. The more the motorcycles revved up their engines, the more she stirred and cried.

I continued to stay at the back of the crowd, far from the parade procession. Though as each loud group that passed by us, I would put her back up on my shoulders so she could enjoy the rest of the parade. It was soon coming to an end and it was time for the firetrucks to make their appearance, followed by the fat jolly man on top of the last firetruck. It wasn’t hard to tell they were nearing as each one would blast their sirens, causing it to echo off of the buildings, making it sound louder and louder as the approached. It was our Que to leave.

I didn’t need to stay any longer to see Santa and I knew she could care less if he was approaching or not. It was the loud sirens that had her terrified and her wanting to leave. So leave we did. She loves firetrucks, has several firetruck toys at home. She just doesn’t like the loud sirens that they have.

Children don’t come with handbooks or manuals, nor does Autism. It’s all a learning process. A few years ago I had to learn from these similar reactions that fireworks aren’t something that we’ll be into viewing each fourth of July. Every fourth we’ll go to the carnival, but we return home way before the crowd shows for the fireworks display. I try to distract her with cartoons, puzzles, and games on her kindle as each whistle, pop, and crackle noise is made from the neighbors setting off their own little fireworks.

Parades and fireworks won’t stop us from enjoying ourselves. We might not go off to watch it in person, but that won’t stop us from finding something else to entertain ourselves, such as a Disney movie in the comfort of our own home.

5th of July

The thing about having a major holiday in the middle of the week is that you can’t relax the following day as things need to get done. Whereas a holiday landing on a Friday calls for rest and relaxation the following day.

My daughter and I had a wonderful 4th of July. After a short family reunion with my dad’s side of the family I took her to Bishop Park’s Bryant Fest here in Bryant, Arkansas. I was extremely grateful that it wasn’t as hot as it was last years unbearable 104 degrees. Although it was a little hot, it was tolerable for both of us to walk around and find things to do.

I was happy to see that Bryant Fest had more to do this year than the last two years combined. It makes finding things to do on the fourth for those of us with kids a lot better. I’m not one for sitting at home and doing nothing when I know there’s fun to be around town, especially on or around holidays such as the 4th of July.


My daughter and I walked around looking at the few carnival rides set up at Bryant Fest. She wanted to go down the slide, but no one was around to assist us. I’m guessing the carnival rides opened later. We ended up in the bouncy houses area where she got in one and jumped for about twenty minutes. She always picks the same one to jump in each year. It is always fun to watch her light up with excitement as she seems to jump endlessly until she’s ready to move on to something else, which happened to be the horses.


Two years ago she just sat on a horse for a few minutes, she was too small to ride by herself and I was too big to ride the horses. Last year she and I rode a bigger horse together, she wouldn’t ride it unless I was riding with her, I didn’t mind, I love horses. This year she wanted to ride by herself. I was ecstatic for her to want to ride by herself and for her to enjoy doing so.

After the pony ride we walked over to the games where I got her a Nemo fish from popping balloons with darts and she won an inflatable dolphin from a simple child’s game; picking up a rubber ducky and looking at the number on the bottom. The dolphin is about as big as she is, but she wanted it. We started to head back to the car, but my daughter cried out to ride the ponies one more time, of course I gave in. I love horses, too!


We didn’t stay to see the firework display, kids on the spectrum don’t like the noise they make and I can understand. Though, we did walk out into the front yard to watch them for a few minutes. The trees seemed to have block most of the view, but what we saw was beautiful even though she wasn’t enjoying it. She was mostly reacting to the popping, fizzes, and crackles coming from our neighbors popping their own fireworks that I decided it was time to go inside and find something on TV to help distract her.