The holiday season tends to be filled with social engagements, both with friends and family. In order to make your holidays as comfortable and stress-free as possible, we created a check list for preparing your loved one with Autism Spectrum Disorder for the upcoming activities. Hopefully with implementing some of our go-to advice, your travels or visits can go as smoothly as possible.
Traveling with Your Loved One
- Upon deciding on a destination for the holidays, speak with your host about what they can do to help make your visit a pleasant one– and let them know your child’s daily meal and nap routine incase of any impediments.
- Prepare your loved one for the form of travel you will take– a long car ride or flight might warrant noise cancelling headphones.
- Carry documents of your child’s diagnosis in case of airline/airport requests, or make a medical necklace or bracelet.
- Most airports have an autism program in place. You can call and find out so you can take a security run through with your loved one.
- You can let your airline know ahead of time that you are flying with a child with autism. Three days before your trip, call TSA’s hotline, TSA Care’s (855-787-2227), which can help you act as an intermediary with customer care at the airport.
- Make sure your child has food readily available that they can eat, both while traveling and at the destination. Have a plan in place to buy groceries upon arriving if need be.
- Discuss or even practice the traditions you will partake in ahead of time with your loved one.
- Home made travel kits, used here at Spectrum, include: crayons/markets and a coloring book, deck of cards, play-dough on the go, stickers, an old wallet with old gift cards and fake money, a pack of conversation starters to work on the entire family’s communication skills 😉
When Family/Friends Come to Town
- Have your child put items they don’t want others playing with away and out of sight.
- Let guests know your child’s schedule/routines in order to avoid unnecessary upsets.
- Prepare your child for the guests that are arriving, letting them know who will be visiting and for how long.
- Discuss and practice the holiday traditions they will partake in.
In either scenario, whether at home away, try not to over schedule your child. Provide them reprieves regularly with breaks and safe spaces to eliminate overstimulation.
We hope you find this informative, and if you have any additional tips, comment below!