Autistic Toddlers: How To Make Them Comfortable During Long Trips
Autistic children are really special in their own way. Just because they’re developmentally different doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the nice things in life, like taking a simple road trip!
If this is your first road trip with your autistic child, here are some great tips to help you keep your child comfortable and make them have fun!
Depending on the spectrum your child falls under, having a schedule is a great way to make them feel secure. Plan your driving time, restroom breaks, meal breaks and even stops to just stretch your legs – and communicate that to your child. Staying in a car for a stretch of time will make them agitated.
A concrete plan is a great way to avoid mishaps and triggers that could upset your child.
Bring Your Child’s “Safe” Things
What are the things your child considers safe? It could be a blanket, toy, book or even photographs. Don’t forget to pack the important things for your child in order for them to feel safe and comfortable.
These will help your child remain comfortable and easy throughout the long car drive, and especially when you’re unable to make stops, these items can be great of solace.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Every time you make a stop, praise your child for getting through it. Positive reinforcement is a great way to cheer them on during the road trip until you reach your destination.
In fact, you could even set small goals like eating their favorite meal after driving a certain number of miles to give them something to look forward to.
Pack Your Child’s Essentials
If your child takes medication for their condition, be sure to pack them and bring them along – be sure to give them their medication on time.
Don’t forget to also bring along snacks and drinks which your child is fond of. Avoid high sugary foods to avoid a sugar rush!
Make the Car Ride Interactive
Sitting for long hours can get annoying for a toddler with autism. Bring along some fun music or even games that you can play in the car to keep your toddler distracted.
Alternatively, you could also play car games involving the scenery you’re driving by. For example, you and your toddler can count the number of red cars you cross!
Prepare For the Worst
A road trip can be a trying experience so prepare for it. If your child becomes increasingly uncomfortable, have your exit route marked so you can detour back home.
You should also have a general idea of intervention methods to use if your child’s symptoms act up. Another thing is to keep in touch with their doctor through the journey.
An important thing to consider when raising an autistic child is to be in touch with their doctors. Having professionals inform you about the disorder will help you parent your child easily. If you’re looking for more tips on parenting, check out 1st Birthday Gifts!