|They need your help.|
The work of a parent never stops. Every time they go out of their house with their children they need to keep absolutely everything in check. Did they take the toys, the food, the extra clothes, the snacks, the favorite stuffed animal? Did they forget something? Of course, that extra sweater in case the weather gets chilly! How could they forget? And would you look at the time? They’ll lose the flight; they’ll be late to the party; they won’t make it to the play! One could say that being a parent is like practicing an extreme sport sometimes.
Now imagine what it’s like for parents of children with special needs. They don’t only need to be sure that all former things are taken care of, they also have to watch out for all their medical needs. The syringes, the medicines that they must take several times a day, the wheelchair. One could say that being a parent of a child with special needs is like practicing an extreme sport at all times. At least, traveling definitely is. Here are a few tips to make your life easier if you’re one of them!
One thing you should take into account is that your kid probably isn’t used to all the movement, changes and noises that involve traveling long distances. If you make a long trip the first time around, you and your family are probably bound to hate it or spend the whole time stressed beyond belief. Travel close to your home, start with little trips so your child can get used to what traveling means and what it involves. Try peaceful destinations at first, such as the beach or the mountains, and start escalating from there.
Make a plan
The more you plan, the less likely it is for things to go south. Make a list two weeks before the trip and start gathering all that your child will need; you can also add any extra items that you find necessary before traveling. Map out your trip and talk to your kid about it, get him or her used to the idea, show them pictures, so they know what to expect once you get there. If you’re staying in a hotel, ask for their accessibility to children with special needs.
Consult with your child’s physician
If you have any doubts about the things your child could need when you’re out of town, be sure to contact his or her physician so they can help you figure out the best way to pull this through. Have him write you a medical letter. This way, if your kid needs any type of assistance, every medical services provider will know his or her medical history thanks to it. You can also ask the doctor what things could be harmful to your child and what could you do with them without any risk. Try finding numbers or references of pediatricians in the area you’ll be visiting.
Find transportation to meet specific needs
If you’re going to fly, pick the airline wisely. Some of them do better than others when it comes to accommodating individuals with special needs. Prepare your kid for the experience of flying or traveling by any other mean. Show them pictures or videos and read about it with them. The TSA has launched a brand new helpline for individuals with special needs, called TSA Cares Travellers, may call 1-855-787-2227 before traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.
Finally, remember that it’s a family trip that’s supposed to be fun. It might not be on the first attempt, but don’t give up just yet. Try to anticipate any possible scenario that could upset your child and prepare beforehand. Give yourself a day to rest once you’re at the destination, kids get tired pretty quickly, and they might need the extra rest to recover some of their energy. If you’re traveling these holidays, we hope you have an awesome time! See you in January at Autism Soccer with more of our content.
|You can have so much fun!|
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