Today we are going to discuss a Autism Birthday Party – Sensory Event we hosted for our Children for their Birthday and how we worked to accommodate Autism Sensory issues for our children and the attendees.
The first event we did was an Inflatable jump house. We intentionally broke the party into phases or events (Listed Below):
2. Registration (Parental Consent Forms, Gift Drop, Coat/Shoes Storage)
3. Orientation (Walk everyone through the events which will be done)
4. First Event – Play time (Approx 1 – 1-1/2 hours)
5. Second Event – Restroom Break / Hand Washing
6. Third Event – Birthday Party (Food Items), Cutting of the Birthday Cake, Presentation of gift bags for attendees
Critical Note: ** No gifts are opened at the event
7. Fourth Event – Restroom Break / Hand Washing
8. Cleanup and close of the account by the Host.
9. Remember to do you thank you notes and recognition cards as soon as possible.
The inflatables jump houses are nice as the chance for injury was greatly reduced. We were also able to rent the complete facility for a period of 2-1/2 hours to host the event. This was crucial as we could get all the children into the facility and get them and parents settled before beginning the event. We ensured that various components of the facility was controllable and I will cover these topic areas we had to cover for our sensory population attending:
A. Lighting (Strobes and Blacklights) – This lighting issue is a show stopper for about 50% of the folks who came to the facility for our event. As we had the whole facility we were able to turn on regular lighting and not have the other effects active such as the strobe lights, black lights, and also the reduction of lighting (We had a participant who suffered from lack of light). This leads us directly into our next concern.
B. Music – The usual loud music was able to be turned down to a level comfortable for all the Children. This was very nice as normal conversations could occur among the parents and staff. We also played at least one favorite song that each child asked for. We did get this information when we sent out the invites and received back as part of the RSVP process.
C. Staff / Parent / Oversight – As with every event the ratio of Staff Members to Participants is key. During the total event we had three dedicated Staff Members to assist at each of the inflatable stations. This Staff member helped as needed making it fun for the children. We worried about this as we still wanted kids to be able to be themselves.
D. Party Area – Key Area of the event. We ensured that the Birthday Party itself was conducted separately in a different area from the play portion of the event. Many of our event participants get very fixated on a certain activity and wanted to go back to a previous event. I do want to mention we also asked each parent to identify any food / environmental or situational concerns that each family may have. We requested and did get this information back from each family when we sent out the invites. The information is received back as part of the RSVP process.
I hope this a Autism Birthday Party – Sensory Event we hosted for our Children for their Birthday and how we worked to accommodate Autism Sensory issues for our children and the attendees was of a benefit to you and your family. We truly understand that tackling sensory issues is hard when you are trying to ensure your family can enjoy the activities like other children. If you were able to learn from our experiences and this post was useful please leave us a comment. It is greatly appreciated. We are currently working on our next post.