Hurricaine Irene and Special Needs

I am interested in knowing how special needs parents managed during the hurricaine on the east coast.  How did your children manage – those with sensory issues who may have seen the lightening strikes, the pouring rain and heard the rain pounding down. 

What can we do to calm our children down in these moments of potential sensory overload from a natural disaster?  perhaps this post is a day late…but ….

I recall nights of walking my son in his stroller for an hour outside at nite when he was a toddler to gelp him get to sleep.  I learned that rubbing his head and covering him with a heavy and tightly woven throw helped to calm him down.  Lowering the lights and rubbing his back also helped him relax for sleep.  Sometimes allowing your child to watch television or a favorite movie may be a good distraction from the outside distractors that may be scarey. 

In moments of anxiety:…..Don’t ask me how it started…. but one night he came up with an idea.  My son pretended that a bare wooden floor in the living room area was an ocean filled with sharks.  We would race up to a carpeted staircase that led up to the bedrooms and that wasa our “safe zone”.  When we were there everything was okay. 

It may be something that you do anyway – but lying down next to your child in bed and reading to them with a soft light on – a calming story such as “Goodnight Moon”, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” or “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” may help.  I recall–my mother reading to me at night till I fell asleep.  Rituals such as these are reassuring to your child and  in moments of anxiety may be helpful for both of you – so that the nighttime becomes a less scarey time for your child and you both can get some rest….even when there is no hurricaine outside.

I hope all got through last nite safely and are reading this in a home with electricity and running water.  I would welcome hearing about how you managed last night with your special needs child.  Perhaps we can all learn from eachother.  Please subscribe to this blog and share your experiences….

Look forward to hearing from you…


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