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Sean designs advent calendar to help families cope with sensory overload

News Page 19th December 2016

A University of Northampton student has developed a festive survival guide for parents with children who are prone to sensory overload.

Second year Mental Health Nursing student Sean Murray has designed an advent calendar which offers tips for parents worried about the effect of Christmas festivities on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

“Sensory overload can occur when one or more of the body’s senses experiences over-stimulation from the surroundings which include noise, smell and sensitivity to light,” said Sean, who became aware of the problem after starting a work placement with the ADHD/ASD team at Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (NHFT).

“All of these can be a big problem during the festive period for individuals who suffer from these difficulties. Christmas is a stressful enough time of the year as it is so to be able to help in any way was something that appealed to me.”

Sean’s design for the advent calendar, which offers advice for parents on a daily basis, was so good that it has been printed and distributed throughout the NHFT’s children’s services.

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, Emma Dillon, said: “Sean’s idea is a brilliant one, we are delighted with him. It is an excellent example of partnership working between NHFT and the University to enhance the wellbeing of the local community.”

The University is dedicated to transforming lives and inspiring change. We believe that change is the most powerful force for good in the world, and all of our staff and students are encouraged to look for opportunities to make the world a better place. We’re working hard to make Northamptonshire the leading county in the UK for Health and Wellbeing.

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