Autism or Autistic

Travelling With An Autistic Child

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) also include related conditions with milder signs and symptoms.

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial, and the vaccine hypotheses lack any convincing scientific evidence. The prevalence of ASD is about 6 per 1,000 people, with about four times as many boys as girls. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.

Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not understood. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. Although early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills, there is no known cure. Few children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, but some become successful, and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder.

Travelling with an Autistic Child

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication

Daily life with an Autistic child can be a challenge to say the least.
What should you do if you are travelling for vacation, or another purpose?

Lets look at some things a parent can do when travelling with their Autistic child.

1. Plan ahead. If at all possible plan trips far in advance. This gives you time to talk with your child and get them used to the idea of travelling. You can explain to them where they will be going, and some of the things they will be doing while away.

2. Bring items from home that your Autistic child likes. Bring their favourite toys. Bring along their pillow and blanket they use each night. Try and keep as many items that are familiar to your child with you while travelling. This can help your child to relax in their new environment.

3. Bring all their necessary medications. You do not want to be away from home and not have their medicine. Get the prescriptions refilled before the trip to make sure you do not run out.

4. Try and keep a schedule while travelling. If possible keep some of the schedule you use while at home. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Autistic children needs their schedules to feel safe.

5. Do not overload your child. If your child has a lot of sensory issues do not over load them while travelling. If you see your child getting overwhelmed go back to your hotel for a break. Warn your child if the place you are going has loud noises, or bright lights if these are issues.

6. Do not force your child to do something they are not comfortable doing. For example do not make them go to a amusement park if they do not like loud noises and lots of people. Consider bringing a qualified person to watch your child while you visit the park. They could do an activity that your child would like instead.

7. Make sure your child has something with them that has your name, and phone number where you can be reached in case the child gets lost. If your child is verbal make sure they know how to tell someone they are lost. This can be very hard for an Autistic child. They have hard time dealing with people anyway.

 

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8. If you have to travel for an emergency try to stay calm. If you are stressed about the trip your Autistic child will pick up on this and become stressed their selves.

9. Take lots of activities the child enjoys to keep them occupied while travelling. This could be hand held games, or a portable DVD player. This can help keep your child from becoming overly bored. It can also give them something to focus on if they start to feel uneasy.

10. Notify the place where you are staying that your child is Autistic. This is very important if your child likes to wander on their own. The staff at the hotel will know if they see the child and you are not with them to contact you right away.

Travelling with an Autistic child will take some extra planning, but it can be done. Just try and keep as much structure to the trip as possible. It will make the trip more enjoyable for you and your child.

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