Social events can be overwhelming for children and many neuro-divergent children. There are triggers that induce a high level of anxiety, such as noise, light, crowding, and too much social interaction.
Wedding ceremonies are normally relaxed affairs, with a happy and joyful vibe, but they can present an autistic child with lots of challenges, depending on what their triggers are.
1. Preparing your child for the Big Day
Start by describing what will happen on the wedding day. Using photos or visuals to describe the setting and any people your child may come into contact with on the day. Go through the photos or visuals a week before, a day before, and the morning of the wedding day. This will help your little one reduce their anxieties.
2. Comfortable Clothing for the Big Day
You may want your little one to wear a particular outfit for a special day. Make sure the outfit is washed in the same way that all their clothes are normally washed so that it smells the same. Dress your little one in the outfit plenty of times before the wedding so that it doesn’t feel strange and ensure the material is comfortable, remembering to remove any itchy labels.
3. Quiet, Calming Sensory Area
Provide an indoor or outside space that can be used as a quiet space. Little teepees or tents are a great way to provide your little ones with a calm space. To help your little one feel safe, provide them with an iPad or a box of toys that provide stimulation. You should include chew toys, cuddly toys, fidget toys, squishy toys, and anything that your child needs to reduce their anxiety.
4. Wedding Breakfast Activities
Weddings can be long affairs for little ones with short attention spans. Providing an activities table can provide some relief for you as a parent to relax. Providing children with activities such as colouring, play dough, building blocks, role play toys, again anything you know that your children likes, will help your little one feel relaxed.
5. Reduce the noise on the Big Day
Music is usually part of celebrating a wedding and children with Special Educational Needs can sometimes be sensitive to noise. Prepare your little one before the DJ sets up or the music is due to start. You can help reduce your child’s discomfort and anxiety by providing them with ear defenders to help block out loud noises.
6. Meeting Wedding Guests
A stranger can sometimes trigger outbursts. Enabling your child to meet or see some of the guests and hearing their voices prior to the wedding ceremony, can reduce their anxiety. To help reduce your child’s anxieties so they can enjoy themselves, knowing who people are at the wedding is important in showing them that this is someone they can trust.
7. Hire Little Wedding Crèche
At little Wedding Crèche, we provide highly-skilled inclusion staff who work with children with a range of special educational needs. By hiring Little Wedding Crèche to look after your precious little ones, means that you can sit back and relax on your special day!