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Lights, Sounds, and So Much More

Victoria Tkachuk by Victoria Tkachuk Additional Needs

Victoria Tkachuk

Victoria Tkachuk

I'm from the Midwest region of the United States and I have four children, three neurotypical daughters and one son with dyskinetic cerebral palsy....

Lights, Sounds, and So Much More

The sensory elements of this season can be magical.

In our town, these last few days before snowing weather mean many people are hanging up lights, setting out yard displays, and otherwise decorating outside. After all, who wants to do this when your fingers are freezing? Whenever we are in the car after dusk, one of my kids begs me to drive down neighbourhoods she sees lights twinkling in, even if it takes us out of our way. My sensory seeking youngest is fascinated by rainbow lights and points out the tallest decorated trees she can see.

When we're in a store and she hears the inevitable Christmas music playing, she can't help but dance or at least stomp to the beat. She might also start drumming on a box or find something on a shelf to use as an instrument. If we're in the car with the Christmas radio station playing, I can hear her singing and kicking the back of the seat to the rhythm.

She simply cannot help herself joining into the sounds and visual elements of this season! She also wants me to put lit trees in every room of the house. And just wait until she finds out we are making gingerbread houses – the crunchy gingerbread, the super sweet icing, the sour and spicy candies to decorate (and eat of course) might send her into sensory overload.

This is my season to indulge this little sensory seeker! We will make lots of holiday treats that she can smell, touch, taste, use the mixer and food processor for. Buying gifts for her is my treat: she is getting a slime smorgasbord, complete with cutting and smoothing tools, as well as mix-ins like small beads and chunky glitter. Kinetic sand will be a new experience, and perhaps something to stimulate her gross motor skills also, like stepping stones, or a game with a jump on the floorboard.

If you have a sensory seeking child or friend in your life, slow down and have fun with them this season. Crafts, food treats, visual and auditory fun is all around you, and magic for the taking!


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