John Jamieson School

John Jamieson is an open and welcoming, generic, all age Special School and National Teaching School which caters for pupils with a learning difficulty

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Fireworks night: Too noisy 24 Oct 2016Fireworks night: Too noisy This blog post (and image) has been shared from Gina Davies' Autism Centre Facebook page. She is a Speech and Language therapist, specialising in working with individuals with autism. She shares lots of useful communication strategies and tips, for individuals with and without autism. This includes a range of visual support ideas that could easily be replicated at home with a pen and paper. Gina is the creator of the attention programme we use in school (Shared Attention/Attention Autism). We are looking forward to Gina joining us in March for a parent workshop and staff training. 

This post is for students who might find it difficult to cope with the noise of fireworks, but could also be applied to other situations where it is too noisy. You could have a go at using this strategy now so there is plenty of time for rehearsal before fireworks night.  
“With fireworks likely to go off from now until next weekend it can be very stressful for children who find the unexpected loud noises so difficult to bear.   It would be great to start now with a strategy that builds a self help skill that works wherever the child is...but it does takes time. 
  • Show the picture.
  • Put your fingers in your own ears/cover ears with hands.
  • Then say loudly 1...2...3...BANG!
  • Then take your fingers out. .

 You can demonstrate how to reduce the noise and practice a strategy of counting followed by' bang'. You can use the 'fingers in your ears plan' when you know there will be fireworks if you have practiced it first!

Sometimes the anxiety and fear is heightened by the unexpected noise, but the counting helps. It is so much more meaningful if the people the child loves and trusts use the same strategy. It's not a perfect strategy but wouldn't it be great if the children could enjoy watching the bright coloured spectacle and share the excitement of a night sky that is lit so spectacularly."

We hope that you find this post useful. Please speak to a Speech and Language therapist if you would like further information on communication and social interaction strategies. You can find more activity suggestions, information and blogs on Gina's Facebook page 'Gina Davies Autism Centre'  and her website:

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