This week is Autism awareness week and with Easter holidays round the corner, experts have published tips to make the holidays and traveling less stressful.
Travelling can become frustrating even at the best of times when you have small children. Travelling with a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be even more of a challenge.
Children with autism can behave in ways that inexperienced people find odd or confusing. The more staff and companies understand about autism, the more their customers can relax and enjoy their holiday. However, it’s important to know that every child is different.
Making small adjustments (for example locating a quiet room, letting parents know schedule changes in advance) and checking in with parents regularly can prevent difficulties. Staff in a hotel or airport can make a big difference by showing that they understand and support the parents as much they can.
Before travelling, make sure your child has an ID with a current phone number attached, the ID must come attached with a current photo and date, indicating that your child has autism, plus home and mobile phone numbers and the number of where you are staying will be recommended.
Another tip would be to call the airlines in advance and tell them that you will be travelling with someone who has special needs, some airlines do have special assistance manager, so you may also wish to explain your child’s disability and some of the behaviours that may cause an inconvenience to other travellers.
Let the airlines know ahead of time if your child has food allergies or sensitivities. They may be able to accommodate their special diet. Always bring food items that your child can eat in case there is a flight delay or there has been a mix-up.
Request a room in a quieter part of the hotel or resort. Instead, go for apartments and villas, they will mean you can avoid restaurants busy places.
Finally, make sure your child can familiarise with your destination and accommodation through pictures or videos ahead of time. Once at the destination, take advantage of orientation tours and make a daily plan of activities.