Children with autism spectrum depend on schedules, and holidays away from home in new places can cause discomfort and interrupt routines. You can help your child to adapt so that everyone in the family should move together with proper planning and coordination.
Going on holiday with children can be overwhelming, and traveling with a child who has autism and needs standardized structure can add a whole different dimension to the experience. Sadly, there are many parents and their children with autism spectrum are terrified to move beyond their own groups. Just talking about taking a vacation can sum up parents and family members’ feelings of unease.
Caregivers are exhausted by the thought of handling unusual, self-injurious, or violent behaviors that their child may exhibit in public as they are also afraid of others’ lights, rude comments, or judgments. Therefore, they may choose to keep their special needs children at home. But it is possible to travel with children with autism and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are ideas that can make your trip fun for your child and a positive family experience.
Pick Your Child’s Best Destinations
Trips mean a transition that can be complicated for children with autism spectrum. As a parent, you need to understand your child first and have an in-depth understanding of his needs. Children with autism do not appear to be socially intelligent, and new experiences can lead to meltdowns, so it is important to prepare what your child can do and enjoy. Autism kids are pressure detectors. We sense the pressure of others and respond in ways that are perceived as an obstacle to the day’s scheduled agenda.
Holidays at the beach or in the mountains can therefore be ideal for a child with autism, where schedules are often flexible and unhurried. Is your child like parks for fun? Is walking in the comfort zone of your child? Would you find that when he basks on the sand in the sun, his sensory issues fade? Wherever you go, you should always consider your child’s activities.
Try not to overwhelm him with too many things to do by bombarding him, as this will cause stress to all involved. Include your kids in the planning as effective partners. Adapt it to the interests of your child, the ability to process information, and the span of attention, and relate it to the next trip. Exploring the destination and how to get there, and thinking about accommodation and the kinds of activities that suit your child well, are all part of the planning process.
Make Plans Well In Advance
Calling for special arrangements will make it easier for you to travel Call airlines, hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks to describe you’re traveling with an autistic child. Discussing your expectations and asking for certain provisions is perfect. Some major airlines, theme parks, hotels, and restaurants are often adapted to the needs of autistic children. Theme parks also consider ways to accommodate children with autism in some countries. So it’s necessary to do a thorough research and choose your child’s best destination.
Identification For Your Child With Autism Spectrum
To have an autistic child means to increase the safety quotient as many children tend to wander and escape from adult supervision. The nonverbal child who wanders and is unable to provide any information is even more risky. It is important to get a medical bracelet or necklace for your child with contact information, particularly while traveling. You can order ID tags that can be added to shoelaces or even zipper pulls if your child has sensory problems that would prohibit him from wearing the jewelry.
If your child is nonverbal, you may need to create an ID card with an up to date photo, contact details and an allergy list in your child’s pocket. Also be sure to mention that your child is nonverbal. You may also have your child wear a ribbon with an autism icon or even a jacket with an autism message or group logo as a visual reminder to strangers.
The Basics And Some Distractions
Set up a checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything that your child needs. Children with autism spectrum often need rewards, many of them tangible so don’t forget to take them on your trip to reward your good behaviour. Often children are attached to their loves, but children with autism are unable to leave them behind as they see the loves as their own attachments.
Conveniently ignoring them could end up brake a much expected getaway. Soothers like MP3 players, DVDs, or a favorite string or eraser piece usually keep children with autism relaxed and quiet. Think of the daily routine of your child and carry along the things that will help him get through his day. The latter includes snacks, toys, books, diapers or communication tools that are helpful. Show your child what you’re packing in the event that he feels any anxiety about missing any favorite items.
Practice The Realistic Holiday Situations With Your Child
Let your child know what to expect on holiday to do or see. Role playing that could arise during the trip will reduce future regrets. Crafting a sequential picture story of what is going to happen is an insightful and effective tool to prepare your child for the journey. Several research studies have shown that in children with autism, these types of word and/or image scenarios can help relieve pressure and minimize problem behaviors.
Over many months, the whole planning cycle should be distributed, but there are some tricks you can do. For example, create a routine every day where you ‘talk’ about the trip with your child. In the order in which the events occur chronologically, you and your child can arrange pictures related to the trip. Make sure your child arrange photos of the house of the hotel or family member where you will live in a collage or other visual arrangement. Even for each picture you can provide a simple explanation or caption. As the journey begins, your child will be able to help retell the explanations of the captions and incidents, or to suggest your narration.
Holidays don’t fall into the usual routines, so children with autism spectrum may feel trapped and over pressurized, which can lead to breakdowns. Know the trigger points and plan accordingly for your child.
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