Taking An SPD Child To Enjoy a Christmas Extravaganza Event

Taking An SPD Child To Enjoy a Christmas Extravaganza Event

December 15, 2018 0 By Lead Mama

We don’t go to many events because Jehzel has a hard time still with his SPD and his social-communication issues.

He did better during this year’s Halloween event, so I looked for at least one Christmas event I can take him to that he can try out.

So We Set Out to Prepare to Attend a Local Christmas Extravaganza

10Th Annual Family Christmas Extravazanga

Hosted by Palm Bay Parks and Recreation, city of Palm Bay, and The Ted Wiltlock Community Center

christmas extravaganza

I remembered that he wanted to attend a nearby Christmas Extravaganza, it is all outdoors. This event though really large is set up in a really large and open space.

This allowed me to talk with Jehzel about actually attending this year. I told him there will be lots of open spaces, though “crowded” it will not be like there wasn’t going to have spinning space.

This event is large, he backed out last minute last year. He came to me asking about the event this year.

What appealed to me is that is close by, so if we needed to go home, there wasn’t going to be a really long car ride to do so.

And heading there wouldn’t give Jehzel that sick feeling one gets when nearing the top of the climb on a roller coaster.

We talked about the noises, the crowd and activities that he could possibly join in.

We also talked about things he can do when it begins to get to be too much for him.

We talked about our hand signals that we use while out so he can silently let me know “it’s time” to take a break or leave.

I headed to the Facebook event that was set up for people to read through on what to expect.

>I really love that they had a Q&A post! This was helpful to read through not just posts others put up, but allowed for one spot for questions to be asked. For my family, small things like this can be the deciding factor when making final decisions and the plan to follow throughout the event. 

I like that so it’s less frustrating for me. With a three and a half year old plus a child who is still learning about his boundaries and figuring out coping skills, I need easy!

Week Leading Up to the Christmas Extravaganza Event

We focus more on the activities the event has. It helps kids focus on the good stuf about the event. It amps them up, they get so excited and distracts them slightly from the troubles they will face during the event. 

I look for as much information about the event as I can. I will even ask the most basic, simplest questions if I can readily see the answers. 

I like to be fully prepared when it comes to events. Events for us already have mini “events” as it is, so being fully prepared for the actual main event is crucial when you have small children or children with a disability. 

So I encourage you to ask the most teeniest questions that you need to. Don’t worry about “looking” stupid. In fact, there can be at least ten others who have the ecact wustion or a similar one. 

Preparing your child the week before an event will help you and the child. It may even allow you guys to stay the whole time!

Morning of the Christmas Extravaganza

Prepping for any event takes a few days. And the morning of, we get up earlier than needed to go over coping techniques, last minute jitters, and talk about all the fun things to look forward to.

I make sure we have all the items we will need, not just the typical wipes, dipes and water. 

We bring other things like sunglasses, not for eye protection, but it gives the kids an illusion that there is a small “barrier” between them and the crowd around them. 

We bring nose canceling headphones as well. This can be an event saver!

We went over the signs to use, Jehzel will clam up and forget. Many times I have to watch his body language and I initiate our silent conversations.

So this morning, I wanted to stress with him if he can try to recognize when he needs a moment or anything. He said he will try.

Waiting In Line To Go In

I reminded him about what it will be like when arriving to the event. We saw in the Facebook event section, that people begin lining up roughly forty-five minutes before the event starts.

christmas extravaganza

Jehzel has a very hard time with this. So many times, we only get this far. Last event, I helped him distract himself with an activity.

He enjoys tongue twisters, so, we will try that activity again, since he responded well at the last event to it.

The Kids First Reactions When We Got In

The boys were so excited, we went over to grab our event bag, Thank you Thrifty’s for a handy bag. It came in handy because I wasn’t prepared with an extra bag to hold the boys toys. I didn;t realize that kids would each recieve one toy! 


The first thing that absolutely needed to be done was doing the rock climb. Jehzel waited all week or this. He has never done it, and he got the opportunity to give it a go. 

The next was to ride a horse, neither of my younger boys have done this. So they were scared but excited. Can you see the total fear in my little ones face! He was terrified but by the end of the ride, he wanted to go again. 

There were lots of various bounce houses and bounce house activites! Jehel was in heaven, he was excited. So we went over to start at the beginning. The plan was to go through each one at least once. 

We did only one, sadly. We got to the next and out of nowhere it began downpouring. We did try to stay but Jehel said that he would ot go in any bounce houses because they were now wet and most likely muddy. I tried to convince him to check each one but he was not at all interested. 

How The Kids Handled The Christmas Extravaganza

Though we were only at the event for a few hours, we still got some fun out of it. Jehzel got to try out two new things and Yaidan tried out one new thing. 

It was a success with getting past the registration line, then the raffle ticket line, then the toy gifting line. 

They did great with waiting in line for ther turns as best they could. 

Final Thoughts On Attending The Christmas Extravaganza

We really look forward to next years event! I highly recommend this event. The staff was helpful, friendly and patient too. 

I do wish that the check in and registration lines were a little more organized. They seemed to get a little aggrevated that we had nowhere to go and she just wanted to quickly move us through the line and hand us our tote bag. 

She was such a happy volunteer. she made sure to ask anyone walking by her, even if it were mmultiple times if they were having fun, if they needed something and was overall a great addition to their team. She wasn;t the only very helpful person, there were many! 

christmas extravaganza

However overall, the event itself is one that we will attned again and we hope to see more people next year. 

What we would do differently? I would bring a stroller instead of the tricycle we have. I would bring an umbrella probably. 

What we would like to see next time? It would be helpful to have an extra tent or two up, just in case someone needed a quick hideaway from the sun or rain for a few minutes. 

I didn’t see if there were any tables with activities for the kids to do, such as crafts or smaller games. If they didn’t that would be a great addition.

I also would like to see more things for the teeny kids to do, ages one through four, it is a hard age and many events just don’t plan for them. I would like to see something for this age group.

My goal for next year is to have a booth with things the kids can do such as crafts or something. I’d love to hand out some of our kids goody bags, so I will be working on making this happen!

>Do you have any questions I can answer for you about this event or preparing your child who has sensory processing disorder, communication issues, social anxiety, autism or something similar? I am happy to answer for you. Have you attended this event? What was your expierence?