Who doesn’t love a good night out to attend a concert and see their favorite artist perform? Concerts are an exciting and joyful experience, but for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can be overwhelming. The good news is that with careful preparation, your child can have a fantastic time at a live music event.
Here are a few helpful tips on preparing your child with ASD to attend a concert, so you can share memories that will last a lifetime.
A Little Research Goes a Long Way
Start by picking the right concert for your child’s interests and sensory needs. Choose a performance that suits their taste in music and is held in a venue that accommodates people with disabilities. Reach out to the concert venue beforehand to inquire about special accommodations, like designated quiet areas or support from trained staff members.
Gradual Exposure Is Key
Gradually exposing your child to the concert-going experience will ensure they have a more enjoyable time. You can start by playing the same music you’ll hear at the concert at home. Doing so creates familiarity between your child and the tunes and rhythms they’ll hear at the event.
Also, consider watching videos of past performances by the same artist or group. This practice will help set their expectations about what the concert might be like. Visiting the venue ahead of time can also be beneficial. This exposure lets your child become acquainted with the surroundings and reduces the chance of feeling overwhelmed on the big day.
Help Them Cope With Sensory Overload
Equip your child with tools to help manage sensory overload during the concert. Some options to consider:
- Noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs
- Sunglasses or a hat to shield their eyes from bright lights
- Fidget toys or sensory items to help keep them calm and focused
- Comfortable clothing made from soft and non-irritating fabrics
Have a Game Plan for Overstimulation
Your child may still be overstimulated during the show despite your best efforts because of the loud music, flashing lights, and larger crowd. Ensure you have a game plan in place to respond positively to the situation. This game plan can include:
- Designating a quiet area where your child can take a break and calm down
- Practicing deep breathing, counting exercises, or other calming techniques
- Establishing a signal or code word your child can use if they need a break
Ensure you have an exit strategy if your child becomes too overwhelmed to continue enjoying the concert.
There’s no better feeling than seeing your favorite artist and hearing their music live. After the concert, talk with your child about their experience. Discuss what they enjoyed most and any challenges they might have faced. These discussions can help you gather valuable insights for future events and make any necessary adjustments to your game plan to ensure they continue to enjoy live music experiences.
A Musical Adventure Awaits
Now that you have these tips, you can confidently prepare your child with ASD to attend their first concert. With careful preparation and patience, you and your child will dance the night away! Remember that every child is unique, so be flexible and willing to adjust your approach as needed. Don’t forget to have fun and cherish the moments you’ll share!