Travel Tips: Traveling with A Child that has Autism Spectrum Disorder
Traveling with kids is not always easy, but taking a child on vacation that has Autism Spectrum Disorder takes a bit more preparation. In general, kids with autism like structure and routines. Vacations are a break from routine and can be bothersome for children on the spectrum. You can make your trip more enjoyable by following the tips that follow.
Safety: Your child should always wear identification. If he will allow it, a bracelet is a good choice. If this is not something your child will tolerate, you can attach their name, diagnosis, and your phone number to his shoelaces or the back of his shirt. Also, you should carry a photo of your child just in case he wanders off.
Activities: You know your child best and you know what he likes. Plan your vacation to include activities that your child will enjoy. You can even use these activities as incentives for your child to try new things. For instance, if your child loves marine life, plan a day at an aquarium. If you have something that you and other family members want to do, tell your child, “First, let’s do this, then we will visit the aquarium.”
In your quest to find activities that your child will enjoy, do not plan too much. Doing too much may overstimulate your child (and other family members, too). Limit the activities and plan downtime to avoid meltdowns.
Hotels: If your child is new to staying in hotels, try a night’s stay at one not far from home. This will give you and him an idea of what to expect. It might take more than one attempt. Also, bring along your child’s familiar items, such as blankets and a stuffed animal. If a hotel will be hard for your child, consider a condo where you will have more room and privacy and be able to make your own food.
Traveling with a child on the spectrum may take some extra planning on your part, but it can still be an enjoyable time. For more information on traveling with special needs children, don't hesitate to contact us.
From Parents, Travel Writers,