The end-of-year holiday season is a time of fun, food, family and friends. Yet for sensory sensitive kids it can be a period of stress, since familiar routines are overwhelmed by the unknown. Taking holiday photos of kids with sensory or behavioral issues may be problematic at best and a total meltdown scenario at worst. Use these tips to help take photographs of family during the festivities.
Prep Your Child
While deciding how your family will celebrate the holidays, think about sensory sensitivities and holiday photos. Talk to your child about family group photos and what happens when they're taken.
Even if the rest of the family group will be dressed smartly, let your child wear comfortable, everyday clothing if that is preferred. You know you'd rather have a happy, casually dressed child in the photo than one who is on the verge of a breakdown because a pretty top tickles her neck or a pair of trousers rustles when he moves.
Keep Expectations Real
If your child has SPD, or sensory processing disorder, don't let your own or other's expectations of the holidays spoil your child's enjoyment. Discard all those images you have in your head of the calm, light-hearted family photo you're going to frame and put on the wall. You'll have genuine pictures of your family instead of that toothpaste advertisement-style photo; genuine photos are the ones where the personality of each person is realistically and lovingly depicted.
Use Modern Technology
SPD and picture taking need not be mutually exclusive. Indoor photos don't need a flash that may be the sensory overload that tips him over the edge. Turn off the flash on your camera, and use an indoor mode if your device has one. Take advantage of the natural or artificial lighting that's available, and raise the ISO setting on your camera. A tripod helps prevent the camera from shaking, which may be a problem when the ISO setting is increased. Take as many photos as you can, since the ones that are blurred can just be deleted, and use a remote control so that everyone is in the picture.
Enjoy the Photo Session
Your child won't look at the photographer because she avoids eye contact at all times. Your youngster has plonked himself at the front of the group, refusing to touch or be touched by anyone else. Who cares! That's who your special, precious child is. Make your own perfect photographic memories that show your family as the unique group of people they are.
If your child struggles with processing sensory input or is already considered to have a processing disorder, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.