Traveling – unless it’s related to your business or work (ugh!) – is highly beneficial for our health. For example, it can take your stress away and offer a much-needed break from the “boring” life you lead almost regularly.
When you’re going on a tour with your family, it can also help strengthen the bond between the members of the group.
But, what should you do while traveling with a child who has autism?
Let’s find out.
Traveling of any sort tends to be quite challenging, even for an otherwise healthy individual. It involves loads of planning, going through resources, and a lot more.
However, when it comes to an autistic person, the course of difficulty becomes different. Here’s why they tend to oppose going somewhere else other than their house.
- Anxiety: Most children who have autism tend to experience anxiety regularly. Now, when you’re traveling somewhere, many unforeseen events can happen.This can be aided by using certain medications and supplements to help calm their nerves.
- Navigation: The overall navigation skillset of an autistic individual can be pretty poor. Hence, they might struggle to find a place (for example, the hotel you’re living at) if you are not with them. It may induce a sense of anxiety within them as well.
- Spatial Awareness: People with autism have a poor understanding of control, especially when it comes to their bodies. Hence, they can regularly bump into others and stand in someone’s way without noticing anything. It might not seem acceptable in a large social circle.
Easing up the traveling experience, especially with someone as anxious as an autistic child, can be a little tricky. Hence, in this section, we’ll offer some tips on how you can improve the touring experience both for you and your child.
While packing your bag or planning for the trip, you can try creating a social story of the tour for your kid. Tell where you will go, the fun things you’re planning to do, and describe the security of the place. It can help them reduce their anxiety regarding the new location a little.
Hang a calendar in your kid’s room a few weeks before the tour and ask them to mark each day until the trip. It, in turn, will help them feel the sense of following a schedule and feel much more comfortable about the journey.
It might be impossible for you to find your child’s favorite snacks, even if you are traveling by car. Thus, if you want to lessen the hassle, you should pack snacks and meals at least one day before the trip. Keep them in a different bag if you can. If your child is a fussy eater, consider packing a dietary supplement to help ensure they get all the right nutrients to help support a positive mood.
If it does not smell, make sure to avoid washing your kid’s favorite plush toy or blanket prior to traveling. Going somewhere on an airplane can be an overwhelming experience, especially for an autistic child. Thus, having something that smells like home can make them stay calm.
Traveling in a car or an airplane can involve a prolonged period of sitting still in a place and being quiet. If you don’t want your child to feel uneasy due to their bottled-up energy, be sure to ask them to exercise a little. Even jumping on a trampoline for 20 minutes can be helpful.
In this section, we will offer some insights on a few queries that you may have in mind. Keep reading till the end, then.
Whether you’re traveling by car or airplane with your child, you have to plan as early as possible. Make sure that there are no unnecessary stoppages. Also, don’t forget to share the plan with your kid so that they don’t feel left out.
Many airlines have already started keeping a “family room” in their system. There’s also an area designed to offer a calming effect to someone sitting there. Nowadays, you can also find a real-plane cabin where you can rehearse the boarding process with your child.
Now, we will be concluding our article. If you have any queries regarding the same, be sure to let us know all about it. We will answer them as soon as possible.