FOR many people, bonfire night is an annual highlight, with hordes of kids (and big kids) flocking to local fireworks displays or coming together to host parties of their own.

However not everyone loves bonfire night, and for those of us who are autistic, the loud noises, overpowering smells and crowds of people that go hand in hand with Guy Fawkes Night can be difficult to process.

So, ahead of Friday's festivities we've pulled together some tips on how to navigate the annual celebration.

Put yourself first

Yes, the majority of people may be celebrating Bonfire Night, but don't give into societal pressures. It's perfectly fine to do what works best for you and your family - staying home and having your own celebration can be lots of fun too.

Plan ahead 

You may need to make your child aware of when Bonfire Night is happening and that there may be loud noises and flashing lights outside. Visual stories or using a calendar to count down the days are both useful methods you could try.

Think about the sensory implications

While some children might love the loud noise and bright lights, for others it can be sensory overload.

If you do want to venture out though, or can't avoid the noise, consider ear defenders or perhaps headphones so your child can listen to music or watch their favourite TV show.

Keep busy

Think about ways you can distract from the noisy environment outside by planning fun activities that your children enjoy.

Get creative

If your child really loves the visual effect of fireworks but hates the bangs you could try silent fireworks.

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