Life with an Autistic child can certainly be a daily challenge. Trying to do things that are out of the ordinary can be especially so. For example, what about traveling? What should you do about taking vacations, or traveling for other purposes? Here are some things you can do to make traveling with your Autistic child easier.
1. Make plans as far ahead as possible. Whenever possible, plan your trips far in advance. That will give you time to prepare your child and to let them get used to the idea of traveling. You should explain where you will be going. Tell them about some of the things they will be doing while you are away from home.
2. Take some things from home that your Autistic child likes. Take a favorite toy. Take the pillow and blanket that they use every night. Try to take as many items as possible that are familiar to your child when you are traveling. This can comfort your child and help them to be more relaxed in their new environment.
3. Be sure to bring all of their necessary medications. You will definitely want to have their medicine while you are away from home. If necessary, have the prescriptions refilled before the trip so that you will be sure not to run out.
4. Try and keep a schedule while you are traveling. Keep as close as you can to the schedule you follow at home. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Keeping to a schedule helps Autistic children to feel safe.
5. Do not try to do too much with your child. Do not overload your child while traveling if they have a lot of sensory issues. Go back to your hotel for a break if your child seems to be getting overwhelmed. Be sure to warn your child if the place you are going will have loud noises or bright lights.
6. Do not make your child do things that they are not comfortable doing. For example, if they do not like loud noises and lots of people, do not make them go to a amusement park. Consider bringing along a qualified person to stay with your child while you visit the park. Perhaps they could do an activity that your child would like while you go to the park.
7. Be sure that your child has something that would identify them in case they were to get lost. It should have their name, your name, and a phone number where you could be reached. If your child is verbal, teach them how to tell someone they are lost. That can be very difficult for an Autistic child. It is hard for them to deal with people anyway.
8. Try to stay calm if you find it necessary to travel because of an emergency. Your child will pick up on your stress if you are stressed about the trip. If they sense that you are stressed, they will also probably become stressed.
9. Take plenty of activities that your child enjoys to help keep them occupied while traveling. You could take things like hand held games or a portable DVD player. This can help to keep your child from becoming bored. It can also be something for them to focus on if they start to feel uneasy.
10. Tell the people at the place where you are staying that your child is Autistic. This can be very important if your child tends to wander on their own. This will alert the staff at the hotel so they will know to contact you right away if they see the child and you are not with them.
It will take some extra planning to travel with an Autistic child, but it certainly can be done. Just try and keep the trip as structured as possible. That will make the trip more enjoyable for both you and your child.