Travelling with an autistic child - The must-know
- By Team TDO
- Try planning trips far in advance. This will give you time to discuss about the trip and the place with your child. And in this way your child will get an idea of travelling.
- While travelling carry all the items from home that your child likes, such as his favourite toys. Bring along the pillow and blanket which he uses every night. So in all, try to carry the items to which he is familiar.
- It is important to carry all their medications. Get the prescriptions refilled before travelling, so that you do not run out.
- Make a schedule of your trip, like the starting point, the places to be visited with the dates of travelling and the daily routine while travelling. Try to keep some of the schedule you use while at home.
- Avoid overloading your child. If your child has a lot of sensory issues do not over load him while travelling. Take a break if your child gets overwhelmed. Give your child an idea of the place to be visited if it is very loud, has bright lights.
- Do not force your child to do something they are not comfortable doing. Consider bringing a qualified person to watch your child while you visit the park. They could do an activity that your child would like instead.
- Keep an identity card or something with child that has your name and phone number where you can be reached in case the child gets lost. If your child is verbal make sure they know how to tell someone they are lost. This can be very hard for an autistic child.
- Take lots of activities the child enjoys to keep them occupied while travelling, like hand-held games or a portable DVD player. This can help keep your child from becoming overtly bored. It can also give them something to focus on if they start to feel uneasy.
- Notify the place where you are staying that your child is autistic. This is very important if your child likes to wander on their own. The staff at the hotel will know if they see the child and you are not with them to contact you right away
Travelling with an autistic child will take some extra planning but it can be done. Just try and keep as much structure to the trip as possible. This will make the trip more enjoyable for you and your child.