Travel Tips for Children with Autism
Taking trips and going on vacation is a lot of fun. However, when traveling with a child on the autism spectrum, there may be other factors you need to take into consideration. Here are some tips to help make your trip a success!
1. Keep as much of your routine as possible: Share an itinerary with your child to help ease any anxieties but make it flexible enough that if something happens, you will not have a full-blown meltdown. If your child is used to reading before bedtime, try to do the same thing on your vacations.
2. Plan for familiar things and experiences: We all find comfort in familiar things, and kids on the spectrum are no different. Try to go to places that serve similar food options to what your child prefers or include your child in restaurant decisions
3. Prepare for time spent waiting: It is always helpful to have familiar distractions, games, or toys for your child while waiting.
4. Prepare for downtime: Downtime can be a welcome reprieve for children with ASD. Sometimes your child will need some “time away” from overstimulating activities. Try to plan out places in your trip where your child can find time away from people and activities.
5. Work with family to manage expectations: Establish boundaries around your child and yourself—well-meaning relatives may want to help in ways you do not want them to. Let them know how to help, but don’t let family or friends stress you out either
6. Make flying easier by working with airline staff: Make sure you arrive at the airport early so you don’t have to rush through security. TSA has made the security screening process a little easier for families with children and those with special needs and may offer you some help at the security checkpoint
10 Traveling Tips: https://www.uvpediatrics.com/topics/travel-autism/
TSA Screening for Children: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children