Tips to make road trips fun for your child with autism
Vacations are here, and many families have planned outings for a few days. Some of them are flying down or taking a train to their destinations. While some others prefer a road trip, which a great way to bond with the family. They help you know each other better and are of course, lots of fun.
Does one of your family member or your child have autism? You can make their road trip great and memorable by keeping some things in mind.
Anandalakshmi from Chennai has a 15-year-old son, who has autism and they have gone on road trips often. She says that as Vishal got older, these trips have become easier.
I prepare him before going for any trips. That is the best way to reduce anxiety in children with autism. Vishal has a diet that he must follow. So I make sure that his medicines and diet are not compromised during the entire trip. – Anandhalakshmi, Autism parent
There are many things to consider that can make road trips fun and hassle free for a child with autism
- Plan in advance – Planning makes your trip perfect, regardless of whether or not your companion has a disability. So, ensure you have the route mapped out. Get information about the easiest routes you can take, restaurants to hop in for food and places where you find washrooms.
- Show the child images of the route and destination – Children with autism love seeing images, photographs and drawings. They connect extremely well with all these. So pictures of the routes you will take, the places to stay and visit will help make him or her feel comfortable and secure.
- Keep essentials ready – Medicines, extra change of clothes and first-aid kits must be kept within reach. Children with autism have medicines that need to be taken on time, so make sure you have those at hand. Make sure you have enough food packed.
- Keep your child entertained – The whole point of going for a road trip is that the entire family enjoys it. So what is your child’s favourite pastime? While some children with autism enjoy music, some others love listening to people. So if your child loves music, make sure you have their favourite tracks on a playlist. If it’s video games that make him or her happy, let them play with the devices for some time.
Umakrishnan, co-founder, Abhyan Centre that reaches out to teenagers with autism, says make every effort to ensure your child feels as secure as possible..
“Each child with a disability has different needs. Parents know what their child likes and does not like. It is best to adhere to their choices. Most importantly, ensure that your child is shown photographs of the places that they are visiting. It helps them a lot.”
So go ahead and make your plans!