Although no two cases of autism are exactly the same, there are some core characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that are commonly experienced. Many individuals with ASD have developmental deficits in areas like speech and language, social skills, play skills, and motor skills. Aggressive and self-injurious behaviors are also common, and children with autism may have a harder time mastering self-help skills like toilet training and brushing their teeth.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that cases of autism have been steadily increasing over the last several years, so parents can rest assured that they aren’t alone in the journey of raising a child on the spectrum.
Based on expert-recommended advice, here are some helpful tips for parenting a child with autism.
Children on the spectrum often struggle with transitions, so vacations and travel days can trigger tantrums or anxious feelings. There are some preemptive moves parents can make to ease the process.
It’s a good idea to create word/picture scenarios – and go over them weeks in advance – in order to solidify a visual plan of how the travel day will go. This will help lessen the number of unexpected transitions that could pop up.
It’s also important to pack a suitcase full of distractions! Think of all of your child’s favorite reinforcers – toys, snacks, games, movies, books – and bring them along. The more prepared you are, the better.