Planning a trip with your special kid
By Dr HibahShata
Planning a holiday is a time consuming process where we try to take care of flights, hotels, transportation and places to visit.
When you are a parent of a special child it becomes more difficult as you need to consider your child diet, sensory issues, fears and adaptation skills. Your fears mount when you think of the changes to his food, bed habits, the new places he will visit and the new people he will meet.
I had a wonderful holiday with my daughter who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder 8 years ago and would like to share tips that can help you plan a successful holiday.
1- Discuss with your child the holiday, the flights and the journey, the planes, trains and all transportation you will make, the places you are planning to visit, show her/him the photos of the hotel or places you will go to, build social stories and remind them of these places few weeks before the planned holiday. If you are visiting your family, show them photos of people they will meet and make simple stories for them to anticipate who and where they will go.
2- Insure taking your child`s favorite food, toys, books and things to do on the plane and when he or she is expected to work alone quietly.
3- Make a daily schedule of the activities they will do during the holiday, meal times, places they will visit, sometimes children like a place and would like to go back and visit again, the planner is useful for the child to organize himself ,accept changes and participate in planning the day.
4- Make sure you take plenty of photos and videos of the places he visit, the activities he do and people he meet on his trip, this will help to build a lot of topics for discussion for many weeks after the trip.
5- Let the child make a daily diary where he can draw or write about the things he did at the end of every day. At the end of your holidays you can enjoy making a nice album or video ( I movie) from all the images he captured during the trip.
Have a Great Spring Holidays