Family vacations can be delightful. For parents of children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, they can also be stressful. Fortunately, there are strategies you can adopt to make travel an enjoyable experience for you and your child. Here are some tips to get you started:
Keep your child’s routine as consistent as possible.
One of the main reasons why children with ASD have difficulty with travel is the disruption to their usual schedule. While it’s impossible to avoid some changes in routine while traveling, you should try to keep your child’s day as familiar as possible. Meals, naps, and bedtime should all continue to happen at the same time of day. It’s also a good idea to bring along favorite toys and other objects that will help to maintain a sense of familiarity for your child.
Plan your schedule ahead of time.
While you may not be able to predict everything you do during your vacation, making a general schedule for each day can help you anticipate any potential issues that might arise for your child. You might even want to put together an easy-to-follow schedule for your child, with illustrations. This can help him or her get ready for each step of the day before it happens.
Call ahead to make special arrangements.
Keep in mind that many of the places you’ll be visiting on your trip may be able to make special accommodations for children with ASD. For instance, hotels, airports, and even restaurants may all be willing to make changes to accommodate your child’s unique needs. It’s a good idea to make these preparations before your trip so that you aren’t rushing to make important arrangements at the last minute.